COVID-19 Tested Negative Or False-Negative?

By Dr Prashanth R Reddy, Consultant ENT & Endoscopic Skull Base Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

The COVID-19 pandemic has created terror in the hearts of the people around the world. It has caged them in their homes and makes the headlines every single day. Everybody is watching it take over the world slowly and there’s nothing that can be done about it. The authorities are trying their best to break the chain and contain the virus, but there hasn’t been any luck yet.

Things get all the more complicated when people are tested false-negative in the case of COVID-19. That’s right, there are chances of test results coming out wrong. False-negative means that the person has the infection but is tested negative, indicating he’s fine and giving false hopes. 30-40% of the tests result in false-negative.

It takes 7-14 days to show symptoms after being infected. Quite a lot of people are asymptomatic for several days after being infected. If these asymptomatic patients, or patients who have been tested false-negative, go out between the general population and don’t take any preventive measures, they might infect several others around them, and that is a big concern today.

Even if you have been tested negative it doesn’t mean that you have a free pass to do things as you please. It’s only wise to stay self-quarantined and maintain social distance from others for a few more weeks. In this period, if you see any symptoms in yourself indicating the disease stay indoors and inform the healthcare officials immediately.

The death tolls and the number of people infected are scary even when the government has not been testing enough. India has carried out 93 tests per million which is not even close to enough if we plan to eradicate this virus. And mind you, that is just the number of tests, not the people tested. There are times when a single person is tested multiple times. Now you can do the math. India need to run tests more religiously and more efficiently if we want to put an end to this. We will not be able to flatten the curve if we do not run enough tests or get the right results. We need to be mindful that with a population of over 138 crores, even if we test one lakh people per day, it will take approximately 37 years to finish testing the entire population. The authorities cannot do it alone; they’ll need your help too. So, it is a request that you stay mindful about everything that you do, as it won’t just affect you but the entire society.

Dr Prashanth R Reddy
Consultant ENT & Endoscopic Skull Base Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.


Tags: Coronavirus   

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