Gurugram: Wait for Covid-19 test reports gets longer as cases rise

As the Covid-19 cases continue to increase in Gurugram, residents complain that they are having to wait for up to 48 hours for getting their test results
A health worker takes a swab sample for Covid-19 test at a health centre in Wazirabad, Gurugram, on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
A health worker takes a swab sample for Covid-19 test at a health centre in Wazirabad, Gurugram, on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Published on Jan 12, 2022 12:07 AM IST
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BySuparna Roy

As the Covid-19 cases continue to increase in Gurugram, residents complain that they are having to wait for up to 48 hours for getting their test results. Officials from the district health department said that with increased testing, there is a slight delay in giving out the results due to logistical issues.

It usually takes around 9-12 hours to declare results of an RT-PCR test for Covid-19.

According to the data from the district health department, in the past 24 hours, 11,444 tests -- 9,131 RT-PCR tests and 2,313 rapid antigen tests -- were conducted. As of Tuesday, results of 5,645 samples were awaited, the data shows.

Naresh Kumar, a resident of Sector 17, said, “My cousin and I gave our samples for testing last Sunday (January 2), and we received the reports after 48 hours. This was when the city was reporting less than 1,000 cases a day.”

In the district, 12 private labs are authorised to conduct Covid-19 tests. In government set-ups, the polyclinic in Sector 31 conducts Covid-19 testing from 8am to 8pm, while 24-hour testing facility is available at the Civil Hospital in Sector 10. Besides, separate testing camps are also set up in different localities by the health department.

Sanjay Kaushal, another resident who had given his sample at a government testing centre, took to social media on Tuesday and said, “I gave my samples for testing at a centre in Chauma on January 9, but till date the report is not available. I tried contacting the hospital also, but there is no response.”

Rahul, a resident of Sohna Road, also shared similar ordeal who had given his sample on Sunday morning at a private hospital and said that he got his test results after almost 48 hours.

During the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April-May last year, a similar situation was faced when sample collection slots were available for 48 hours later from the time of booking and results were being declared after 72 hours.

On Tuesday, Gurugram reported 2,385 fresh cases of Covid-19, taking the tally of active cases to 11,955 in the district, according to the data. The test positivity rate on Tuesday was 20%, said officials from the district health department.

As cases continue to rise, daily testing has also been increased in the district. In the last week of December, about 5,000 samples daily were being sent for testing. On January 1, total 5,962 samples were tested, and the daily testing figures now increased to over 11,000 on Tuesday.

The health officials said that results are being released at the earliest, but with increased testing, there is a slight delay due to logistical issues.

“When the positivity rate is less, pool testing is done and if the pool tests negative, then all samples are declared negative. But as the positivity rate increases, pooling is not done and samples are checked individually, due to which it takes time. But still most results are being declared within 24 hours. We also have to keep in mind that at all centres, samples are collected throughout the day and sent for testing in one go,” said Dr Jai Prakash, district surveillance officer.

A senior official from a private lab in the city said, “The wait time for Covid-19 reports has increased to 48 hours since last week as the number of home sample collections has increased.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the district also saw seven fresh cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19, taking the tally of Omicron cases to 64, of which one is active case. The district also recorded 590 recoveries on Tuesday. Besides, the Gurugram administration has added one more residential area to containment zone list. The district now has 26 containment zones.

On Tuesday, a total of 32,208 doses of Covid-19 vaccine were administered, including 16,539 first doses, 12,804 second doses and 2,865 precautionary doses. With this, over 4.55 million doses have been administered in the Gurugram district till now. On Tuesday, 7,265 children in the 15-18 age group were vaccinated in the district.

The district administration on Tuesday also issued an order stating that all current restrictions under the pandemic alert will continue till 5am on January 19. In the district, government and private offices, except for emergency/essential services, have been advised to function with 50% attendance.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022