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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 18:45 IST

Only 1 in 9 Indians taking RT-PCR test despite having COVID symptoms, finds survey

A recent survey conducted by LocalCircles, on the JN.1 variant, sheds light on the testing landscape in India.

Manisha Roy
AP
Representative image | Image:AP
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New Delhi: In the wake of four reported deaths attributed to the JN.1 Covid variant in Kerala and Karnataka, the Central government has issued a stern warning to the public, urging them to "mask up" and directing states to bolster health arrangements. The emergence of this variant has raised concerns about the testing infrastructure and the potential for delayed identification of the variant's impact on individuals.

A recent survey on the JN.1 variant by by LocalCircles sheds light on the testing landscape in India. A significant number of respondents expressed apprehension about the country's low testing rate, fearing it might hinder the timely identification and reporting of the JN.1 variant, particularly concerning severe conditions in some individuals.

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The survey delved into the testing behaviors of respondents in the face of Covid symptoms within their immediate families. Alarmingly, 76% surveyers admitted that neither they or their immediate family members undertook any Covid test despite experiencing symptoms such as cold, fever, fatigue, or respiratory issues. Only 12% opted for the more accurate RT-PCR test, 6% chose the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), and an additional 6% provided no clear response. This reveals that only 1 in 9 individuals opted for the RT-PCR test despite exhibiting Covid symptoms. 

When questioned about the reasons behind the reluctance to get tested, all 12,137 respondents cited that they "didn't see any point in testing; we just took treatment based on symptoms and recovered." Some respondents pointed out the convenience factor as a reason for not undergoing a Covid test.

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 18:36 IST

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