The central laboratories of Egypt’s Ministry of Health have begun testing individuals for coronavirus using PCR analysis and issuing them certificates stating the results of the test.
These certificates are to be used by those who plan to travel outside the country.
But despite the importance of PCR testing, most people outside the medical profession still don’t know how the tests work.
What is PCR analysis?
PCR analysis, or “polymerase chain reaction” analysis, is a highly accurate method for detecting the presence of viruses in the bloodstream.
The test can determine the amount of the virus present, follow its activity and monitor treatment progress until a patient is fully recovered.
PCR testing can also reveal to what extent a patient is at risk of contracting the virus.
The analysis requires a blood sample, with results appearing within two days.
If the results are positive, it means that the person is infected with the virus, and if they are negative it means they are not infected.
The test examines virus proteins, as well as the antibodies the body has developed to fight off the infection.
Then test may be affected if a patient is currently taking other medications.
How much does PCR analysis cost?
The cost of the analysis is LE1,000.
What are the uses of PCR?
It is used to diagnose some diseases and to determine the current viral load — the amount of virus present — in a patient’s bloodstream.
It’s also used in determining a person’s genetic fingerprint in forensic work, and in determining paternity.
Where is it conducted and what documents are required for testing?
The Cairo laboratory conducting these tests is located at 19 Sheikh Rehan Street, and is open from 8 am until 3:30 pm.
Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; there is no appointment reservation system.
Each patient needs to bring their passport, national ID, and two personal photos with them when they go for testing. For those traveling to Saudi Arabia, however, photos are not required.
Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed previously announced that Egypt will be increasing the number of central laboratories conducting the test nationwide to eight.
Egypt announced on Sunday 491 new coronavirus cases and 20 additional deaths, bringing the total number of cases confirmed so far to 11,719 in the country, while 612 people have died from the virus in Egypt.