RT-PCR negative but have Covid-19 symptoms?

Here is what you should do when your RT-PCR is negative but you have symptoms of Covid-19: 

With the alarming increase in Covid cases, the number of fresh cases crossed the 3 lac daily count recently. However, 20% of RT-PCR tests done in India are showing false-negative results for the virus. With numbers rising, testing mishaps and delays are being witnessed in huge numbers. The delayed diagnosis and false negatives can lead to poor management during the much worse second wave of coronavirus. 

My mother had the same issue 2 weeks back, she had high fevers, extreme coughing fits and a false negative. Thankfully our family physician started her medication to cure covid-19 on time along with a CT Scan and CRP blood test to detect the severity of the disease. And she recovered.

What can possibly the reason for false-negative: 

As per experts, human error is one of the top reasons which can lead to a false-negative COVID RT-PCR report. During the second wave, when we witness high surges the pressure to release tests, long queues, and incessant error might create such reports. 

 So here is what you need to do if  your RT-PCR is negative but you have symptoms of Covid-19:

  • Isolate yourself 

Isolate yourself from other family members, to protect them from getting the virus. Keep your doctor informed of your condition while you are in isolation. 

  • Watch your oxygen levels 

Keep a track of your oxygen levels using an oximeter and note the reading twice a day. If your oxygen level drops below 92 then you need to tell your doctor. 

  • Get tested after 3 days 

After you tested negative, get yourself tested after three days again. If your doctor says then get a CT scan also done. 

  • Start your treatment 

If you feel you have covid-19 symptoms, consult a doctor right away and start medication. 

  • Get other tests done 

As said earlier, your doctor might ask you to get a CT- scan and other tests done. So by the time you get tested another time, go for these tests. The doctor might ask you for a C-reactive protein test, it indicates the level of the lung. This will give your doctor a better idea of your help.