The Covid Testing Protocol

As we all know, how the pandemic is breaking all records of people dying by disease. The main cause of the pandemic is the covid-19 virus that has infected a large majority of people across the world. It is important to detect the covid-19 virus in a population to treat the disease effectively.  The detection of the deadly virus is a cumbersome process that involves the specific steps of pcr. Here the reaction mixture is amplified for the detection of the concerning virus.  The detection of the infected person in a pool of population is very necessary to combat the pandemic.

For the detection process, rt pcr procedures are implemented by health workers.  They do so to get the early detection of the virus.  This early detection of the covid-19 virus is important for preventing the infection of viruses to other healthy persons in the population. The real-time reverse transcriptase pcr is used to detect the covid-19 infection in the people’s population.  The real-time rt pcr is somewhat different from the traditional polymerase chain reaction which detects the pandemic virus.

You may be wondering, how the process of real-time rt pcr works in the detection process.  Before observing the process of rt pcr,  let’s first see what is real-time rt pcr? 

The Real-Time RT PCR

Real-time reverse transcription pcr is called a nuclear-derived process of detecting the presence of specific genetic material in the sample. This genetic material can be pathogen or virus, or bacteria. The method uses radioactive isotope markers that indicate the presence of genetic material.  But the advancements in science have led to the discovery of specific markers with isotopic labeling. In this case, fluorescence dyes are also used which indicates the virus presence in the concerned sample. In the real-time rt pcr process, the results can be observed in the middle of the process too, which is not possible in the conventional polymerase chain reaction.

The real-time pcr is based on the general principles of the traditional pcr procedure.  In the covid-19 virus detection, the genes of the sample are amplified to quantify the genetic material.  The test is called real-time pcr because the test allows the researchers and scientists to evaluate the actual number of increases in the genetic material.   Here, the fluorescent dyes are useful in indicating the presence of the covid-19  virus.  SYBR green is the most widely used dye in the real-time rt pcr process which helps in the detection of the covid-19 virus.

Many countries use the above pcr reaction process to detect the covid-19 virus in a population.  Apart from the covid-19 virus, the virus is also helpful in the detection of other types of viruses like Zika and Ebola.

What Is A Covid-19 Rt PCR Test?

A covid-19 rt pcr test is used to detect the virus presence in the infected person.  It is said that the rt pcr test is the standard test in the detection of the covid-19  virus.  Any person can get infected by the SARS-CoV-2  virus. So testing of the virus is necessary. The real-time pcr test is executed.  The test results are highly reliable and can be used for better detection of the virus.

The Steps For Covid-19 Detection Using The Real-Time RT PCR Test

There are three main steps of detection of the covid-19 virus using the real-time rt pcr  reaction :

1. The Sample Collection

This step is important, as the whole pcr reaction depends on it.  The sample is collected from the swab of the person.  Here, the swab collection is done to collect all respiratory material found in the nose.   To collect the swab, a sift pin is introduced into the nasal chamber.  The tip of the pin is quite sticky to stick the nasal materials. When enough swab is collected in the collection point then it is taken to the lab for further steps of pcr.  The sample tubes are sealed to prevent the leaking of the collected swabs.  A good health worker should collect the samples as the inexperienced persons can harm the person while collecting the swab from the nose.

2. The Extraction Process

When the first step is completed,  the sample tubes are taken to the laboratory technologist.  Here the extraction process is done. The DNA or RNA  is isolated from the sample. The person’s genetic material is isolated in this process, to make sure that only the virus genetic material is left in the sample. To do the extraction process, specialized techniques are used which isolate the genetic material.

3. The Real-Time Reverse transcriptase PCR

This is one of the vital steps of the rt pcr reaction. The whole covid-19 virus detection is based on this step. Here the actual detection process is done by using the pcr machines.  These pcr machines are called thermal cyclers. The main purpose of thermal cyclers is to make millions of copies with a small portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus‘s RNA and DNA. The whole amplification process of a genetic disease is done here.

During the process of amplification of the genetic material of the virus, the fluorescence light from the chemical used gives out the light. This indicates that the sample consists of the covid-19 virus. A special type of software is used to interpret the results of the rt pcr test.  The signals are used in it for proper detection.  Here, the specific markers are also used to get the indication of the covid-19 virus.  SYBR dye is the principal dye in the test of real-time rt pcr reactions. Though, the quality of thermal cyclers also determines the reliability of the test. So, it should be of good quality for testing the virus. PCR technique is used to execute the process. 

The RT PCR Test Results

The real-time rt pcr results can be positive or negative. There is nothing in between. So, it only has two interpretations.

1.  The Positive Result :

This means the person tested with the rt pcr test is most likely to have covid.   In most cases, it is seen that the person gets a mild illness and can also recover in their home itself. However, some cases are also lodged in severe illness categories. These need more medical attention than mild ones.  In every case,  the positive person should call for a good healthcare person to combat the situation.

2.  The Negative Result

The negative result means that you are not having any of the covid-19 diseases at the time of testing. But it does not mean that you can’t have the disease in the coming time.  This sometimes happens when you have the virus, but don’t have an insufficient amount to get it detected.  In such cases, you can have the disease at a later time. It is best to keep yourself tested regularly to get the early detection of the virus. 

Keep in mind, some cases don’t show proper symptoms, but yet you can have the virus in your body.   Always follow the covid protocols for preventing virus infections.


The covid-19 virus test is necessary for the detection of viruses in a population. In India, and other infected countries, they use a wide spectrum of rt pcr test drives to detect the disease and treat it properly.  The testing also ensures the least contact of the infected persons with non-infected ones.  So, it is a necessary step towards combating the deadly virus.

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