Should I Get Tested For Coronavirus?

Should I Get Tested For Coronavirus?

Test for coronavirus in India

Laboratory test should only be offered when prescribed by a qualified physician. 

All individuals need not be tested, because disease is primarily reported in individuals with travel history to the affected countries or close contacts of positive cases. 

How test is done?

Suspected cases are screened for the virus with nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), such as RT-PCR. 

Trained health care professionals handle the appropriate specimen collection, storage, packaging and transport of the sample. 

The respiratory material should be collected:

Upper respiratory specimens: Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab or wash in ambulatory patients

Lower respiratory specimens (may/may not be collected): sputum (if produced) and/or endotracheal aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage in patients with more severe respiratory disease. 

Routine confirmation of cases of COVID 19 is based on detection of unique sequences of virus RNA by NAAT such as real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) with confirmation by nucleic acid sequencing when necessary. The viral genes targeted so far include the N, E, S and RdRP genes. 

Do you need to get tested?

Everyone need not be tested for COVID 19. The information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.

Most people have mild illness and can recover at home There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given guidance for who should be tested. As per the advisory, people who should get tested are.

All symptomatic people who

  • Have history of international travel in last 14 days
  • Had come in contact of confirmed cases
  • Are healthcare workers 
  • Are hospitalized patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) or Influenza Like Illness (ILI) or severe pneumonia
  • Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of confirmed cases should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact. Direct and high-risk contact include:
  • Those living in same household with a confirmed case
  • Healthcare workers who examined a confirmed case without adequate protection as per WHO recommendations 

Self-test for coronavirus

CDC offers a self-check for COVID 19 on their website. In India, Goa government has launched its first automated self-evaluation assessment to identify at-risk patients for COVID 19. It is based on best CDC guidelines, illness severity and risk factors like age and pre-existing conditions. 

The link to India’s first automated self-evaluation assessment is provided below.

Dr. KK Aggarwal

Recipient of Padma Shri, Vishwa Hindi Samman, National Science Communication Award and Dr B C Roy National Award, Dr Aggarwal is a physician, cardiologist, spiritual writer and motivational speaker. He was the Past President of the Indian Medical Association and President of Heart Care Foundation of India. He was also the Editor in Chief of the IJCP Group, Medtalks and eMediNexus

 More FAQs by Dr. KK Aggarwal


Medtalks is India's fastest growing Healthcare Learning and Patient Education Platform designed and developed to help doctors and other medical professionals to cater educational and training needs and to discover, discuss and learn the latest and best practices across 100+ medical specialties. Also find India Healthcare Latest Health News & Updates on the India Healthcare at Medtalks