Home collection of samples for COVID-19 tests now available in the state

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~ The initiative will make testing more accessible and easier, especially for the elderly ~ 

Goa Khabar: Amidst the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Goa, labs are now offering to collect testing samples of patients from their homes in an effort to make testing more accessible to residents, especially the elderly.

The Marcela based Thyrocare centre has commenced COVID-19 testing at its diagnostic lab and is offering the sample – collection facility to residents in and around Panaji, Ponda, Margao, Marcela and surrounding areas. The diagnostic lab is offering RT-PCR tests.

“Individuals who feel the need to get tested can either come to the laboratory based in Marcela or if unable to do so can request for the sample to be collected from their residence or office,” explained  Dr Supriya Kamat who runs the lab.

“A trained staff of the lab will then visit the patient’s home or office and collect the throat swab. Our staff are trained thoroughly for all procedures and precautions. Patients are requested to wear a mask at all times. If any patient is showing symptoms then they must inform us beforehand so that we can keep them isolated from other patients,” she explained.

Priced at INR 2400 for the test inclusive of the swab collection service, the results are shared with the individuals the very next day.

The highly reliable RT-PCR (Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test recommended by the WHO is conducted by taking a throat swab. Individuals who display clinical signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection such as fever, dry cough, sore throat, breathlessness, loss of smell or taste and tiredness are recommended to get tested.

Protocol being followed for home collection of swabs as shared by Dr. Supriya Kamat:

  • After an appointment is made with the lab, a trained staff member travels to the individual’s home or office for collection of the swab sample

  • Staff wears PPE kit, disposable gloves, face mask and face shield while collecting the swab sample from the resident’s home. Mask is worn during the entire procedure

  • It is recommended that the individual be seated in an open area such as a balcony or veranda. Staff takes the throat swab there without entering the home to ensure safety of the concerned

  • The lab staff and technicians carry a disposable bag along with them to collect all disposable material and bring it back to the lab so that it can be disposed off in the right manner. No waste is left at the individual’s home

  • A fresh pair of gloves and mask is worn at every visit

  • Care is taken to ensure that the persons collecting the samples have minimum or no contact with the individuals while taking the throat swab sample  

  • Results are shared the very next day with the individuals