The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in April last year had said in a guideline regarding sampling that swab samples should be taken from both the nose and mouth for RT-PCR test. Both should be put together and sent for examination. The advantage of this will be that if the number of viruses is high, the disease will be easily caught.
ICMR had asked to take samples from both the nose and throat.
Contrary to the guidelines, there is a lot of negligence in the government hospitals of Madhya Pradesh. In most places, only throat swab samples are being taken from the beginning. Samples are being taken from both places in private hospitals and labs. Except for AIIMS in the capital Bhopal, only throat samples are being taken in the remaining 47 fever clinics including Jaypee Hospital, Hamidia Hospital. It takes a little more time to collect and send samples from both the places, so only the throat sample is being taken.
Experts say that the chances of getting the virus in the nose are high. Nasal viruses can be reduced by taking steam, but the viruses present in the throat are greatly reduced by eating, drinking, gargling and inhaling steam, due to which the person does not come positive even after being infected.
ICMR’s guideline is that swab samples should be taken from both the nose and mouth. In AIIMS, samples are being taken from both the places from the beginning. The advantage of this is that the disease is easily caught. Taking a sample only from the throat reduces the chances of getting positive. One and a half to two hours before the test, some food and drink should be stopped. Apart from this, even if the method of taking the sample is not right or the quality of the kit is poor, then the chances of getting positive are reduced.
-Doctor. Sarman Singh, Director, AIIMS, Bhopal
There are different guidelines for taking samples. Initially, we also used to take samples from both the nose and mouth, but the status is not known as of now.
-Doctor. Prabhakar Tiwari, CMHO, Bhopal
Both the nose and the throat are part of the respiratory system. The virus can be anywhere in the respiratory tract. In order to take samples from both the places, there are two sticks of eight cm each in the kit. Taking samples from both the places, the sample portion of this stick is kept in a viral transport media and sent for examination.
Dr. VK Ramnani, HOD, Department of Microbiology, LN Medical College, Bhopal
Samples taken so far in Madhya Pradesh-1,39,99,557
Positives found so far – 7,91,750
Average infection rate – 5.6%