BHU begins pool testing to cope with rush of samples

Banaras Hindu University, BHU

Varanasi, April 22 The microbiology department of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has started pool testing of Covid-19 samples in view of the increasing number of pending samples reaching here from 13 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Prof Gopal Nath, in-charge of the BHU laboratory, said, “We are conducting over 350 tests every day against our capacity of 300 samples per day, for more than a week now. But, the number of samples collected from all 13 districts connected with this lab is accumulating. Pool testing will quicken the pace of testing now.”

He said that Varanasi district magistrate, Kaushal Raj Sharma, had asked him to start pool testing on the lines of Agra and other labs in the state to give early results.

Pool testing, which has been approved by Indian Council of Medical Research, involves collective testing of about ten samples at one go. If found negative, all the ten persons are declared Corona free but if the sample tests positive, all ten persons will have to undergo individual tests.

The district magistrate said, “We have asked the BHU lab in-charge to start pool testing on the lines of Agra and other places in the state to clear the pending sample tests. Of over 400 samples, 280 are from Varanasi alone. We need early results as the number of samples is increasing.”

The testing lab at BHU is witnessing a rush of samples, mainly due to the large number of migrant workers who have been quarantined in various districts in eastern UP.

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