Karnataka to initiate Covid-19 pool testing for cost-cutting

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The Karnataka state government is adopting the technique of pooling sampling, with the objective of cost-cutting. So, the process would not just be one sample in a test-tube but five.

Pooling sampling technique can be only be advantageous when there is higher probability of the samples being negative. As, if a sample tests positive, all the samples will have to be examined again.

As the positivity rate is less than 5% in 10 districts which includes Bidar, Gadag, Raichur, Koppal, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Ramanagara, Shivamogga, Chamarajanagar, Kolar, the state has given the allowance of pooling sampling here.

Though, for the remaining 20 districts, individual testing will continue. For the private labs, the government pays an amount of Rs. 800 for every sample’s RTPCR tests. The state has 65 % private labs and over one lakh test labs are conducted at both the government and private labs. Dr C N Manjunath, state nodal officer for Covid-19 testing, spoke about the process. “If Ramanagara has a target of testing 800 samples everyday via RT PCR, instead of using 800 test tubes for 800 samples separately, 160 tubes will hold 800 samples as each tube will have five samples.”

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