India’s Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 300,000 Cases

India’s Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 300,000 Cases
June 25, 2021 Editorial Reszon

As the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic rips through India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India reported that India has passed the milestone of 300,000 Covid-19 deaths as of 24th May 2021, the third country after the United States and Brazil to hit the figure as it battles a huge wave of infections. People across the country are being made to wait up to three days to receive results of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for the coronavirus. Experts say this delay may directly impact a patient’s access to medical care and thus, their chances of survival. As most states allot hospital beds only to those who test positive for Covid-19, many patients with acute symptoms wait desperately for the results.

Given the present huge turnaround time for RT-PCR tests, the recent guideline by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) to enable rapid antigen test (RAT) for non-symptomatic and inter-state travellers should be strictly followed, as RAT is time efficient. RT-PCR should be applied only for symptomatic cases, thereby reducing the load on diagnostic centres.

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