As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, multiple variants of the virus have been detected worldwide, complicating public health efforts to contain the virus. As Bangladesh is currently experiencing a spike in cases across the country, it is important that individuals take precautions to stay safe – including social distancing, wearing masks, and getting tested for COVID-19 when necessary and deemed medically safe.
There are currently five known variants of the virus circulating globally. According to the Global Variants Report by the CDC, only one variant has been identified in Bangladesh as of yet. British researchers and public officials have reported this variant to be more transmissible than other variants of the coronavirus — as it is estimated to be 50% to 70% more infectious.
New variants may make it difficult in certain cases to detect the presence of the virus. However, the FDA adds that the use of tests that rely on the detection of multiple regions of the genome may be less impacted by genetic variation in the virus genome than tests that rely on detection of only a single region. At Praava, our test includes multiple target regions and is robust enough in detecting circulating variants.
Praava prides itself on international standard laboratory services that you can trust and we are taking steps to ensure the highest accuracy standards of our COVID-19 tests. We are following all the guidelines and protocols established and mandated worldwide by the WHO and the CDC for the COVID-19 molecular test.
While we follow leading international standards in testing, the science of diagnostic tests is not perfect and no test is 100% accurate – even at some of the best labs in the world. Like any diagnostic test, there is a chance that someone will have the virus but will test negative (false negative), or does not have the virus and will test positive (false positive). A review of global data regarding the accuracy of COVID-19 tests showed false-negative rates of between 2% and 29%. Separately, international studies of PCR testing (the same type of test used to diagnose COVID-19) indicate an average false positive rate of around 2%. Whether or not a person will get a false negative or false positive result depends on many factors, including the time between exposure and getting tested. For example, if you are tested too soon after exposure, your body may not have a high enough viral load yet, which could cause a negative result one day, and a positive result the next.
While not a silver bullet, the CDC, the WHO, and the global health community strongly recommend diagnostic testing, as it is still one of the most important ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. The best way for us to help you manage your symptoms or prevent further spreading the virus is for you to talk with your doctor over a video consultation first, and if recommended get tested right away.
Remember, at Praava, you are more than a Patient, you are family.