AMARAVATI: With the state government determined to screen almost the entire population of the state for Covid-19, the burden on testing laboratories has gone up multifold.
The government labs are struggling to deliver test reports leading to delay in tracing and quarantining people who test positive. Experts worry that the delay would lead to some people becoming super spreaders.
Sources said that thousands of swab samples are lying at the labs due to mismatch in testing capacity of the labs and the samples collected. In many cases, the results are coming five to 10 days after the collection of sample, which according to senior medical professionals serve no purpose in treating the positive cases.
A few of the reports accessed by TOI revealed the facts behind the backlog of the samples. In one instance, swab samples of a 65-year old patient from Guntur district were collected on June 6. His result-positive–came on June 17. This means that the person had nearly completed his quarantine/isolation period by the time the test report was delivered.
Delay defeats purpose of test
“The tests are to determine a person is infected or not. What purpose would it serve if the result comes after a week or 10 days?” asked a retired professor at a medical college.
“We are struggling to trace primary and secondary contacts of positive patients due to delay in test results. In some cases, people are travelling after giving the samples. They become super spreaders once their reports turn positive,” said a DSP rank police officer involved in tracking the contacts.
In another case, an octogenarian couple from Vijayawada gave their samples on June 4 and the results came on June 10. They were positive. “It is very difficult to manage the critical cases with such delay in test results,” said a senior medical professional from Guntur Medical College on condition of anonymity.