Delhi dispensaries, polyclinics to start rapid antigen tests
An antigen is a foreign molecule that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies, and detecting its presence determines a present infection.Updated: Jul 10, 2020, 02:47 IST
The Delhi government on Thursday directed its dispensaries and polyclinics to begin testing for Covid-19 using the antigen-based method. The test will be available at the centres between 9am and 12 noon on working days, according to the order issued by Delhi’s director general of health services Dr Nutan Mundeja.
An antigen is a foreign molecule that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies, and detecting its presence determines a present infection.
“With nearly 2,500 cases being reported each day, there are expected to be at least seven to eight direct and high-risk contacts (at home and workplace). Aggressive contact tracing and testing holds the key to ensure that the infection in controlled in its tracks effectively. This means we consistently need to test at least 20,000 people each day. Since the contacts can be in any part of the city depending on the movement of the patient, the testing facility will be made available at all identified dispensaries and polyclinics between 9am and 12 noon on all working days,” the order reads.
The Delhi government runs over 250 dispensaries and 25 polyclinics.
The focus will be on high-risk groups, such as those above the age of 65, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and those who are immunocompromised (such as HIV patients).
Those with symptoms who test negative have to get an RT-PCR test done to rule out false negatives.
The central district will also run a campaign to test rickshaw, auto, taxi and goods carrying truck drivers. Southeast district will set up a camp near Kotla Mubarakpur to ensure labourers and masons get tested. The North and East districts have to set up testing centres in Azadpur and Ghazipur mandi to test vendors and labour workers.