Published on April 4, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Nimesh Goswami, a city-based professional is scheduled to travel to Bengaluru, but there’s a catch – his negative RT-PCR report is pending. “I gave my sample on Saturday morning and I was told that it would take 24 to 48 hours. I cannot book my tickets before the test results,” says Goswami, whose work warrants travelling at a short notice.
As the third Covid-19 surge swells across Gujarat, hundreds of people can be queuing up outside pathological laboratories in major cities including Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot to get their test results for Covid-19. On the other side of the counter, the path lab technicians are working round the clock to meet the surge.
While experts declined to put a number to an approximate RT-PCR tests conducted in Ahmedabad, they concede the surge is unprecedented and work load has increased three to four-fold compared to January-February.
In Vadodara, test capacity of several labs is exhausted. Sources confessed that some labs are going slow on sample collection to reduce the rollover effect. Pranav Desai, senior VP of Surat-based Desai Metropolis Lab, said, “There is a heavy rush for testing of RT-PCR and related blood tests. In the current situation, we have to stop taking samples once we reach our maximum testing capacity.”
Rajkot labs are also reeling under demand for average 1,500-2,000 tests daily. “We are delivering results of the tests after 24 to 48 hours nowadays. Per day testing has doubled, and also the need for quicker result due to travel requirements has spiked the number,” said Dr Darshita Shah, owner of a path lab in Rajkot.
(With inputs from Niyati Parikh from Ahmedabad, Sachin Sharma from Vadodara, Yagnesh Mehta in Surat and Nimesh Khakharia from Rajkot)