Top Medical Professionals Bodies Request Govt. To Increase RT-PCR Testing Capacity To 1500 Tests Per Day And To Conduct Community Surveillance In Hotspots

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), Ceylon College of Physicians and Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists have collectively requested the government to increase the RT-PCR testing capacity to 1500 tests per day and to conduct community surveillance in hotspots.

Issuing a joint statement, they added that there are currently there are 2000 first-level contacts in Sri Lanka.

"If these first-level contacts can be covered through risk-stratified/pooled sampling, it will Provide the evidence-base on how the next level of contacts should be screened and ddress current concerns and uncertainty regarding the number of asymptomatic patients," the medical professionals' organizations said.

The statement also added, "Elderly or immunocompromised patients may never (or only much later) develop antibodies to COVID-19 infection. They are the most vulnerable as well as the ones with the highest mortality due to this infection. Detection of IgM antibodies early in infection is also problematic due to cross-reactions resulting in false-positive results (RCPA, 2020; Joseph & Schumm, 2020).

However, these IgG/IgM rapid antibody tests in paired samples (in acute and convalescent phase) could aid in the diagnosis in cases that are highly suspected of having COVID-19 infection but a negative PCR test. Furthermore, these tests help in detecting unrecognized past infection and immunity for retrospective assessment of the attack rate or extent of an outbreak. "

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