Testing positive even after two weeks of medication and isolation has led to widespread panic among people with many resorting to self-medication out of fear.
Talking to TOI, Srikanth who has not tested positive even after a month said that even after isolating and completing the course of medication for 15 days when he was retested Covid positive, he started taking his Covid medicines again only to be advised by his doctor to discontinue the further medication immediately.
In yet another case, a patient had tested positive in 5 RT-PCR tests over a span of two months.
Deliberating on the issues, Dr. Rahul Agarwal, consultant for internal medicine at Medicover Hospital said that people need not panic upon being tested positive even after 15 days as the reason for this might be residual RNA in the nasal mucosa or the result might be false positive.
He added that in any such scenario, medication is not required as infectivity of the virus reduces beyond 15 days and is highly unlikely. Besides, he said that patients taking antibiotics and steroids on their own have also been found to develop digestive problems.
Most importantly, the doctor said that retesting leads to a waste of resources especially in a country that is scrambling to procure Covid test kits.
Experts noted that in normal circumstances, it is likely that a patient will test negative after 15 to 17 days but even if he or she doesn’t, it should not lead to a panic situation.
Dr. Harikishan Boorugu, consultant physician at Yashoda Hospital noted that he has been observing people coming to retests despite being advised not to. This he said could be out of sheer panic or the fear to spread it to other family members.
“However, after 15 to 17 days of infection, the person is not infectious (cannot pass it on) and does not need any medication at all,” the doctor emphasized.
As per national guidelines people with mild Covid symptoms who did not need hospitalizatim are advised to bypass restesting after 15-17 days after symptoms clear in order to prove they are no longer contagious.
India reported 3.62 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. Maharashtra’s count remained under 50,000 for the fourth consecutive day, while Kerala and Tamil Nadu recorded new highs of over 43,000 and 30,000 cases, respectively. Meanwhile, Haryana on Thursday joined a list of states which have floated global tenders to procure Covid vaccines.