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India to start pool testing as COVID-19 cases jump to 10, 800

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New Delhi, Apr 14: Amid growing coronavirus cases, India likely to start pool testing of COVID-19 samples after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved guidelines surrounding it.

The "pool testing" involves testing upto five samples in a single test. So far, one sample is being tested at a time.

Representational Image

The ICMR nod assumes significance in the wake of the exponential rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in India.

What is pooled testing?

A pooled testing method involves putting multiple swab samples in a test tube and testing them using single RT-PCR test.

So, if the test is negative, all the people tested are negative. If the test is positive, all persons are tested individually.

Nowhere in the game: Rahul Gandhi attacks Modi govt on Coronavirus testing

Pool testing is beleived to greatly enhance the capacity to test in a low-resources setting, as RT-PCR test is reliable but not scalable.

This will reduce the total test kits used to examine patients. Scientists have suggest that pooling test samples is cost effective, especially for the countries with limited resources. It can be used to avoid the community transmission of the virus.

COVID-19 cases reached 10,815 while the death toll hit 353. Of the total cases, 9,272 are active while 1,189 are cured.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said 31 deaths and 1,211 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

The figures continued to rise even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation today announced an extension of the lockdown till May 3.

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