Karnataka Health Department permits pooled sample testing

To optimise RT-PCR testing, the Health Department has issued a circular directing health authorities in both government and private sectors to pool COVID-19 samples (with a sample size of five per pool) and test them. Based on the result of the sample pool, further action should be taken (i.e. if positive, individual samples should be tested while if negative, all will be deemed negative).

This is in the wake of the test positivity rate (TPR) in the State dropping from 14% to 7%. Currently, samples are being tested individually through RT-PCR.

“It should be noted that the pooling of samples for diagnostic purposes is permitted only in taluks which report a test positivity rate of below 5%. And pooling is not recommended in taluks reporting a test positivity rate above 5%. In Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) areas, zones shall be taken as a unit. If the TPR of the zone is less than 5%, then pooling should be done. The total number of RT-PCR tests assigned to the districts remains unchanged,” the circular said.

“For arriving at a TPR, the time period of the last seven days shall be taken. The Deputy Commissioners/Special Commissioner, BBMP, should notify the taluks/zones for pooled testing every Monday based on last one week’s positivity report,” the circular stated.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 6:23:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-health-department-permits-pooled-sample-testing/article32933316.ece

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