ICMR: 500 random tests for Covid-19 come up negative

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed that coronavirus test done on 500 random samples of patients with symptoms of severe pneumonia and chest infection have turned out to be negative.

These tests were conducted as a part of the ongoing surveillance to check if Covid-19 has spread in the community. “These samples are over and above the 11,500 throat swabs of symptomatic patients with travel history or those in contact with them,” said Nivedita Gupta, Scientist, Epidemiology, ICMR.

The ICMR has decided to test 20 such samples every week from its network of 51 labs. “While we may think this is a small number, the actual cases of severe chest infections and pneumonia from intensive care unit set-ups that we are collecting is less. At times we don’t even get the target of 20 samples of severe cases per lab every week,” said R Gangakhedkar, Head, Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, ICMR.

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