SOP for pooling of samples for COVID-19 testing by RT-PCR Back

Instructions for sample collection centres

  1. The packing of sample collection tubes should be as per ICMR-NIV guidelines. Parafilm over the lid + 1 absorbent layer + 2 plastic layers are sufficient, the plastic layers should be zip-lock bags. Please DO NOT over-pack or under-pack. No rubber band or cello tape.
  2. Kindly write the patient's name, age, gender (and other info, if required) legibly on the sample collection tube in such a way that the writing does not get erased during handling, use paper/cloth tape as label if needed and put cello tape over the labels.
  3. All samples should reach test centres within a fixed time window. It is important, as pooling starts, larger number of samples are required to start as a batch. Samples reaching after that time window will be delayed by 1 day.
  4. Pooling is useful when expected +ve is less than 4-5%. Therefore, an estimate/sample collection rationale will help pooling decision. Collection centers should be in contact with government health authorities to designate samples for pooling route of testing.

Protocol to be followed at testing centres

Samples will be received by the designated staff and parked in a designated place till processing for pooling starts.

+ A. Pooled sample analysis
+ B. Re analysis to pick +ve(s) from the pool
+ C. Reporting of results
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