As the spread of the coronavirus intensifies across the globe and in India, the government has designated test sites across the country to expedite diagnosis and aid treatment. India has had 206confirmed cases so far, and five died due to the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective immediate action by governments, individuals and businesses. All businesses have a key role to play in minimizing the likelihood of transmission and impact on society. Early, bold and effective action will reduce short- term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy.
1. Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati
2. Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
1. GMC, Anantapur, AP
2. Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar
1. Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati
2. Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh
1. Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna
1. Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
1. All India Institute Medical Sciences, Raipur
1. All India Institute Medical Sciences, Delhi
2. National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi
1. BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad
2. M.P.Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar
1. Pt. B.D. Sharma Post Graduate Inst. of Med. Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana
2. BPS Govt Medical College, Sonipat
1. Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
2. Dr.Rajendra Prasad Govt. Med. College, Kangra, Tanda, HP
Jammu and Kashmir
1. Sher-e- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar
2. Government Medical College, Jammu
1. MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur
1. Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, Bangalore
2. National Institute of Virology Field Unit Bangalore
3. Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, Mysore
4. Hassan Inst. of Med. Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka
5. Shimoga Inst. of Med. Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka
1. National Institute of Virology Field Unit, Kerala
2. Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
3. Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala
1. All India Institute Medical Sciences, Bhopal
2. National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur
1. NEGRI of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong, Meghalaya
1. Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur
2. Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Mumbai
1. J N Inst. of Med. Sciences Hospital, Imphal-East, Manipur
1. Regional Medical Research Center, Bhubaneswar
1. Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry
1. Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab
2. Government Medical College, Amritsar
1. Sawai Man Singh, Jaipur
2. Dr. S.N Medical College, Jodhpur
3. Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar, Rajasthan
4. SP Med. College, Bikaner, Rajasthan
1. King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine & Research, Chennai
2. Government Medical College, Theni
1. Government Medical College, Agartala
1. Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad
1. King’s George Medical University, Lucknow
2. Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
3. Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh
1. Government Medical College, Haldwani
1. National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata
2. IPGMER, Kolkata
Coronavirus pandemic: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is the nodal agency of conducting all the tests related to the identification of coronavirus-induced COVID-19, has said that all of its designated labs will conduct the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, according to a report in IE. The test, commonly used for the detection of Influenza A, Influenza B, and H1N1 virus, is conducted using a swab from the back of the throat, a saliva sample, or liquid sample from the lower respiratory tract, the report added.
What happens in a PCR test?
In the PCR test, the report states, a technique is used to duplicate a segment of the patient’s DNA. The word ‘polymerase’ denotes the enzyme which creates these copies. The chain reaction refers to how the segment of the DNA gets copied exponentially. One fragment copies into two, two fragments get copied into four and so on. In the case of viruses that are made of RNA, like the SARS-COV-2, the RNA needs to be converted into DNA using a process termed as reverse transcription. The process of duplicating the DNA is then carried out.
After copies have been created, a fluorescent DNA binding dye, termed as a probe, shows whether the virus is present or not. This test also distinguishes SARS-COV-2, which causes the COVID-19, from other viruses.
How lengthy is the PCR process?
The IE report states that according to ICMR scientist Dr. RR Gangakhedkar, the time taken to test samples have been brought down to 4.5 hours from the earlier 6 hours, by the real-time PCR testing. But, the report added, he said that overall time, from taking the sample to delivering the medial report, takes about 24 hours, which is more than it should be.
How is the PCR test being conducted in India?
India is conducting the coronavirus testing in two stages, the report quoted NIMHANS Head of Neurovirology Dr. V Ravi as saying. In the first stage, the genetic elements which are common to the presence of coronavirus are tested and then, in the second stage, tests specific to the presence of SARS-COV-2 are conducted.
While the National Institute of Virology in Pune was conducting the second test till the beginning of March, the facility has now been transferred to all the labs for quicker results, Dr. Ravi was quoted by the report as saying.
India currently has the capacity for checking 10,000 samples a day, and so far has been testing around 600-700 samples daily. Meanwhile, South Korea, which has a similar turnaround time, has been reported to be testing a maximum of 20,000 samples a day. However, Dr. Gangakhedkar said that the government has been saying that at this stage there is no need to test every person. Another ICMR scientist Dr. Nivedita Gupta was quoted as saying that they do not want to conduct indiscriminate testing as everyone is asking to be tested. They are currently trying to rationalize it while keeping an eye out for any cases of community transmission.
The Helpline Number for corona-virus: +91-11-23978046 Toll-Free No: 1075
The Helpline Email ID for corona-virus : ncov2019[at]gov[dot]in
The following interventions are proposed:
1. Closure of all educational establishments (schools, universities, etc), gyms, museums, cultural and social centers, swimming pools and theatres. Students should be advised to stay at home. Online education to be promoted.
2. The possibility of postponing exams may be explored. Ongoing exams to be conducted only after ensuring the physical distance of one meter amongst students.
3. Encourage private sector organizations/employers to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible.
4. Meetings, as far as feasible, shall be done through video conferences. Minimize or reschedule meetings involving a large number of people unless necessary.
5. Restaurants to ensure handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces. Ensure physical distancing (minimum 1metre) between tables; encourage open-air seating where practical with adequate distancing.
6. Keep already planned weddings to a limited gathering, postpone all non-essential social and cultural gatherings.
7. Local authorities have a dialogue with organizers of sporting events and competitions involving large gatherings and they may be advised to postpone such events.
8. Local authorities to have a dialogue with opinion leaders and religious leaders to regulate mass gatherings and should ensure no overcrowding/at least one-meter distance between people.
9. Local authorities to have a meeting with traders associations and other stakeholders to regulate hours, exhibit Do’s and Don’ts and take up a communication drive-in market places like sabzi mandi, anaj mandi, bus depots, railway stations, post-offices, etc., where essential services are provided.
10. All commercial activities must keep a distance of one meter between customers. Measures to reduce peak hour crowding in markets.
11. Non-essential travel should be avoided. Buses, Trains, and airplanes to maximize social distancing in public transport besides ensuring regular and proper disinfection of surfaces.
12. Hospitals to follow the necessary protocol related to COVID-19 management as prescribed and restrict family/friends/children visiting patients in hospitals.
13. Hygiene and physical distancing have to be maintained. Shaking hands and hugging as a matter of greeting to be avoided.
14. Special protective measures for delivery men/ women working in online ordering services.
15. Keep communities informed consistently and constantly.
Source :Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Prashant Kr Abhishek
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