The world is currently battling COVID-19, officially known as the Coronavirus, and if you weren’t aware, India is in a prolonged 21-day quarantine to curb the spread of the virus. However, the number of confirmed cases is still rising and one of the main reasons behind this will have to be the lack of COVID-19 testing in the country.
Popular doctor appointment booking service Practo wants to change that by making it possible for patients to book their COVID-19 testing online. It has partnered with Thyrocare to launch this new service, which goes live over the weekend. The government of India and the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) have authorized this new service.
So, let’s take a quick look at the Coronavirus symptoms, prerequisites, and finally the steps to book a Coronavirus test online:
Who Should Have a Coronavirus Test?
Before we talk about how you can book online, here’s what COVID-19 symptoms will show (according to current testing guidelines):
- high fever,
- cough (sore throat),
- frequent headaches,
- shortness of breath,
- respiratory disease,
- and other breathing difficulties.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult a qualified doctor immediately.
Prerequisites for Coronavirus Testing
If you want to book a Coronavirus test for yourself or another patient, Practo has listed some prerequisites that you must meet before completing the booking:
- valid doctor’s prescription
- Form 44 signed by a qualified physician (Test Request Form includes patient travel history and information on contact with suspected COVID-19 patients)
- photo ID card
- Pune or Mumbai resident (online booking is currently only available in two locations and plans to expand to more locations in the coming days)
Steps to Book an Online Coronavirus Test
1. Open the Practo app and tap the ‘Home lab tests’ option to see the new COVID-19 test reservation (a collection of samples) plastered at the top. you can start this dedicated COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 Detection Test website It was also founded by Practo.
2. Tap the ‘Book Now’ button as seen above and fill in all the patient’s identification information including name, phone number, sample collection address and more. You can then choose a suitable timeframe for the test.
3. After selecting the time slot, complete the payment (Rs. 4,500) and book the Coronavirus test for the patient.
A trained laboratory physician wearing a disposable biohazard suit will come to your door at the selected time to collect a throat swab sample. The official Practo listing says the results will be shared with both you and the government within 48 hours.
I can’t stress this enough, but if you or someone you know has developed symptoms of COVID-19, refer them to self-quarantine, consult a qualified doctor, and get this tested right away. You can also call the Government of India helpline 1075 or official government helpline numbers for help.