RT-PCR, the most recommended method for tracing coronavirus, accounted for over 70 percent of the total tests conducted to identify infected patients in Delhi in the last five months, according to government data. Between August 1 and August 25, health authorities conducted 16.17 lakh tests, including 11.18 lakh RT-PCR ones.
In July, 21.79 lakh COVID-19 tests were conducted in the capital. Of this, 15.18 lakh were conducted through the RT-PCR method. RT-PCR tests accounted for 71.42 percent of the total 21.88 lakh tests conducted in June and 75.17 percent of the 21.41 lakh tests conducted in May.
In February, March and April; 64.81 percent, 64.29 percent and 66.02 percent tests were conducted through this method. Over 20 lakh tests were conducted in January, of which 11.78 lakh (57.65 percent) were RT-PCR tests. Real Time Polymer Chain Reaction test (RT-PCR) and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) are two main methods used to detect coronavirus.
RT-PCR detects the viral genetic material (RNA) and is quite accurate. The results can take up to two days. The advantage of this test is that it can detect the virus even before the emergence of symptoms and allows early isolation, preventing the spread of the infection.
RAT detects viral proteins at the peak of the infection. This test is not as accurate as the standard RT-PCR test used to accurately identify those infected. A significant percentage of those infected pass the RAT test as a false negative. The advantage is the low price and availability of the result within 30 minutes.
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