Punjab launches pool testing

Results promising, no evidence of false detection: Minister

Punjab launches pool testing

Health officials screen a labourer in Hoshiarpur on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15

A pooled procedure has been launched for testing suspected Covid-19 patients at the Viral Research Diagnostic Lab of the state.

Medical Education and Research Minister Om Prakash Soni said the results were promising and no evidence of false detections had been found during tests at the lab.

He said the testing algorithm involved screening pooled specimens of multiple patients followed by individual testing or pool deconvolution in case the pool is positive. If the report of the pooled sample is negative, all reports of persons involved would be declared negative.

He said the pool testing could save costs while enhancing the capacity enormously. From this, the expected jump in testing capacity would be about three to four times the existing capacity. Researchers from Germany and Israel have already validated this method and the ICMR had issued an advisory in this regard on April 13.

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