Karaikal to get RT-PCR testing facility


Swab samples to determine COVID-19 infection through RT PCR (Real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing can be handled in a government facility from November in Karaikal district.

According to Health Department authorities, an RT-PCR machine would be installed in the District Public Health Laboratory in Karaikal on the premises of the Government General Hospital by then.

So far, the Health Department had faced difficulties in arriving at real-time infection rate since the samples had to be sent to Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education (JIPMER), Puducherry; Government Medical College Hospital in Tiruvarur and two other places.

Out of seven for the entire Puducherry Union Territory, the only private facility where the RT-PCR test could be conducted in Karaikal was at Vinayaka Mission’s Medical College and Hospital.

The long turnaround time taken for arriving at the infection-rate had, for so long, come in for criticism from public welfare organisations in Karaikal.

So far, all the government institutes for conduct of RT-PCR tests were in Puducherry: Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education, Indira Gandhi Medical College, and Vector Control Research Centre.

The District Public Health Laboratory in Karaikal has been conducting TrueNat tests while the Rapid Antigen Tests were conducted at the Primary Health Care Centres.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has approved the RT-PCR centre at the District Public Health Laboratory, sources said.

As on October 25, there were 1,336 government laboratories and 1,677 private laboratories for undertaking real-time RT PCR, TrueNat and CBNAAT tests for COVID-19, and reporting the same to ICMR on a daily basis.

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