Coronavirus: DAK seeks testing facility in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Friday sought testing facility for the deadly coronavirus in Kashmir that would detect cases faster and speed up the diagnosis.

“When the testing facility is available, we will be able to have the test results in 4 hours time,” ,” said DAK President Dr. Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to wire service  KNO.

Dr. Nisar said as of now, we are shipping the samples outside Kashmir and wait for the response, and the process takes days to weeks’ time. “So far, 9 samples have been sent to NIV Pune, only one sample result has come that is negative and rest of the test results are pending.”

He said in order to combat the potential pandemic threat of new coronavirus, and to improve the surveillance and ability to track the spread of the disease, US FDA has approved authorization of diagnostic tests for the novel virus in any qualified laboratory.

“Now, labs can use the test on-site rather than having to ship the samples to other places. We have the recommended biosafety level 3 lab at GMC Srinagar and machine to do the tests. We have the laboratory expertise in molecular detection of the virus. We need diagnostic kits and we will be doing the tests,” Dr. Nisar said.

He said the diagnostic kit is designed for the detection of novel virus in respiratory samples like nasal or throat swabs. “Any person with fever and cough and who has been in close contact with a confirmed case or has a history of travel to the affected area within 14 days of symptom onset should undergo diagnostic testing,” Dr. Nisar said.

Quoting a paper published in the Journal The Lancet, he said persons who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus. “Because asymptomatic infection appears possible, persons who have travel history or history of contact should be considered for testing even if they do not exhibit the signs and symptoms of the disease,” said Dr. Nisar. (KNO)

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