‘5-day delay in RT-PCR test results dangerous’
Nearly two months after the second wave of the covid pandemic hit Bengaluru, patients say there is a five-day delay in
Prashanth (name changed), a volunteer with the BBMP, said that he had symptoms of covid and decided to take the test at a PHC in RR Nagar zone. He waited for 24 hours and when he did not get the results, he consulted a doctor and started medication. He said, “I was not sure whether to start the treatment or not without getting the results but my doctor said it looked like I had covid. I realised later that I had done the right thing because I got my results after five days and I was positive. If I had waited for five days, my health would have deteriorated. After 14 days, when I went to the PHC again to take the second test, I informed them about the delay in the test results and how it could cost a person’s life. Luckily, I met an acquaintance at the PHC who informed the staff there to send my test results to the ‘VIP list’. He explained that the swab samples in the VIP list go to labs that work 24/7 and the results are given in 24 hours. The results of other swabs take five to six days. To my surprise, my results came within 24 hours this time.”
Prashanth added that the first five days were crucial to ensure the infection does not get worse. Without a test result and a BU code, it was difficult to get oxygenated beds, he said.
Kusuma (name changed), a resident of Kavalbairasandra, gave her swab samples last Wednesday and is still waiting for the results. “I have fever and body pain and I don’t know if it is covid or not. The
Dr Trilok Chandra,
Effects of delayed test results
Dr Gunasekar Vuppalapati,
Dr Suri Raju V, Medical Director, Regal Multi-Speciality Hospital said, “Patients should not neglect their symptoms. They must seek help from a doctor even while waiting for their test results. Delay in treatment could mean a longer stay in a hospital. Patients with comorbidities like Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and cancer etc, must get tested as soon as they observe even the slightest symptoms of covid. Negligence could prove fatal.”
Doctors are advising against self-medication. “Many people are coming to us with gastroenterology issues, due to consumption of antibiotics and antiviral tablets over an extended period of time,” said Dr Gunasekar.