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Chest X-rays can give COVID-19 test results in just 10 minutes: Expert

According to Dr Vishal Rao, member of the Covid consultative group and onco surgeon who initiated the project, X-rays can be used to screen Covid-19 patients which is cost effective.

Published: 12th July 2020 06:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2020 02:43 PM   |  A+A-

X-ray

Representational photo. (File Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Here is some good news. Now, you can know whether you are Covid-19 positive or not in a jiffy. The HCG Care Centre in Bengaluru has started using the chest X-ray method on a pilot basis.

According to Dr Vishal Rao, member of the Covid consultative group and onco surgeon who initiated the project, X-rays can be used to screen Covid-19 patients which is cost effective and the results are given in 10 minutes.

Now, they have decided to expand it to pan Karnataka where all the districts can scale up and start using X-rays to detect early signs. With the State carrying 20,000 tests a day, it has become difficult to give the results on time.

Dr Rao started the pilot project of using X- rays for Covid-19 detection in Yelahanka on 1,000  ASHA workers and pourakarmikas.

He told TNSE that the results were given to them in 10 minutes and all of them tested negative.

“Already there is a huge backlog of samples to be tested. With this method in place, people will be able to get results in no time and it will only cost them Rs 200,” Dr Rao said.

A chest X-ray and analysis at HCG will cost Rs 250, while a Covid-19 test could be Rs 4,500 if a person goes directly to a private hospital or Rs 2600 if the person is referred by a government hospital.

Dr Rao said that after the X-ray is done, an artificial intelligence system is used to analyse it, wherein a computerised algorithm will search in the suspicious area which will give the appropriate results.

“Right now, the DRDO has been helping us with AI. I have asked all the private hospitals in Bengaluru to start using X-ray for testing. Once they send the X-ray reports to us, we will give them results after we finish the AI analysis. Many districts in the State have only one or two laboratories for sample testing. If they start using X-rays , they can test more people and even get results fast. The accuracy rate in the X-ray is more than 95%,” he said.

Recently he even showcased how the X-ray and tests work to Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa. “After I showcased it, the government is mulling about the project,” he said.

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