Gujarat doctors suggest CT scan if RT-PCR test comes negative
New Delhi, Apr 20: Your RT-PCR report has come negative? But there are still, high chances that you could be Covid-19 positive. Yes, you read it right.
Amid a staggering surge in Covid-19 cases at an alarming pace, the medical fraternity in Gujarat have now come across an increasing number of cases where patients test negative in RT-PCR report but the their high-resolution CT (HRCT) reveals significant infection in the lungs.
It should be noted that the central government had earlier said that the RT-PCR tests done in India do not miss the "UK, Brazil, South Africa and Double Mutant variants" of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.
According to government data till April 15, a total of 1,189 samples have tested positive for 'variants of concern' of SARS COV-2 in India which include 1,109 samples with the UK variant, 79 samples with South African variant and one sample with the Brazil variant.
Vadodara Municipal Corporation has issued a notification stating that "the new strain of (novel) coronavirus is highly contagious and the virus does not necessarily show apositive test on RT-PCR.
"In cases where RT-PCR is negative but findings in HRCT and lab investigations are suggestive of viral etiology,the claim should be treated as that of Covid
unless proved otherwise," states VMC's order issued under the Epidemic Act.
According to Infectious disease specialist Dr Hiten Kareliya,''Covid-19 suspects should undergo RT-PCR tests and HRCT chest early instead of earlier practice where a patient would be asked to undergo CT scan only a couple of days after the test.
"We are seeing many cases where the patient has no symptoms or just mild fever and weakness but the infection spread to lungs rapidly," he further said.
"RT-PCR's sensitivity is 70% which means there are 30 % chances of false negativity. But if there is evidence in CT scan, it is Covid-19. In such cases, we go for repeat tests which affirm infection majority of the times," said Dr Niraj Chawda, MD, Nand Hospital.