Guidelines and Safety Considerations in the Laboratory Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Prerequisite Study for Health Professionals

Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2021 Feb 3;14:379-389. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S284473. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging challenging area for the researchers to buckle up against the spread and control of the virus. Since earlier times, the diagnosis has been an important procedure in estimating the fate of epidemics by indicating the extent to which disease has been spread and to the extent, further disease prognosis would occur. The absence of anti-viral therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 at present suggests early diagnosis and isolation of the patients as the only smart approach available as of now. Presently, the increasing death rates, faster rates of transmission, non-availability of vaccines, and treatment have over-pressurized the researchers, health professionals, and government officials to develop effective clinical strategies in diagnosis and to come up with guidelines to be followed during conduction of each diagnostic procedure for maintaining healthcare systems. Since the incubation period of this virus is 2-14 days, a patient can transmit the infection without showing symptoms. Therefore, early diagnosis and isolation of susceptible individuals are the only way to limit the spread of the virus. Significance of diagnosis and triaging, information on specimen collection, safety considerations while handling, transport, and storage of samples have been highlighted in this paper to make people more aware and develop better clinical strategies in the future.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; diagnosis guidelines; safety consideration; specimen collection.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

Indian Council of Medical Research (ISRM/12(22)/2020).