RT PCR stands for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction and is also accepted as a molecular test. This test uses testing technology to detect the genetic material of the virus. To perform an RT-PCR test, a medical professional will take a sample of body fluid from your nose or throat using a long nasal swab. In some cases, a pathologist may ask you to saliva into a tube or glass in the lab.

After a sample is taken from the mouth, throat, or nose, a pathologist will analyse the collected body fluid, prepare a report, and send it to you within 1-3 business days. If the collected liquid samples are sent to other places for analysis, we can wait for the test report. Test reports are highly accurate when prepared according to established norms and standards.

Who should have a Covid-19 RT-PCR test?

Doctor asks for an RT-PCR test to detect Covid-19 infection if the suspect has any of the following symptoms: 

  • Throat infection 

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Diarrhoea

Each person with Covid-19 has no visible symptoms and every symptomatic person has Covid-19 infection or has none of the above symptoms. Consult your doctor and get tested if you feel unwell. If you have been vaccinated and are unwell, you will need this test to determine if you have Covid-19.

Covid-19 RT PCR test steps

The Covid-19 RT PCR test follows a three-step strategy. Here are the steps:

  • Sampling - A long nasal swab is used to draw liquid from the nose or throat. You may also be asked to spit saliva into a tube.

  • Extraction - Pathologists isolate or extract genetic material from collected bodily fluid samples.

  • PCR - In this step, lab specialists apply specific enzymes and chemicals and use a PCR machine to analyse the extracted genetic material.

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What does the Covid-19 RT-PCR test mean?

After the test is performed, the pathologist will prepare a Covid-19 RT-PCR test report. Reports are positive or negative. This means a positive or negative test result:

  • Positive test result - A positive test result indicates that you have SARS-CoV-2 infection. This may be due to an asymptomatic infection. If you have symptoms, your infection is known as Covid-19. Most people with mild illness recover safely with care and isolation at home. If symptoms worsen or you are concerned, consult your doctor.

  • Negative test result – A negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test means you are not infected at the time the fluid is taken from your mouth, nose, or throat. However, although it may be infected, no viruses were detected at the time of analysis. It occurs when RT-PCR testing is done after 1 to 2 weeks of contact with an infected person. Even if you test negative, you should stay safe and keep a safe distance from others.

When do you expect to receive test results for the novel coronavirus?

We expect to receive test results within 1-3 business days of submitting the sample to the lab technician. In some cases, you may have to wait a little longer. Your pathologist will advise you on the appropriate time to receive the lab report.

How long after Covid-19 infection can the test positive?

An RT-PCR test is highly sensitive and detects very small amounts of viral material. Even if the Covid-19 symptoms are gone, it is possible to test positive again. Therefore, after a 15-day break he should do 2-3 tests and follow safety measures to stay healthy.

What is the cost of an RT-PCR test price?

The RT-PCR test price in Noida or your locality differs from one path lab to another. It can cost you anything between INR 500 and INR 1500. Getting in touch with a respective representative or path expert can help you know the exact price for you. 


RT-PCR is an advanced test method for detecting Covid-19 infection. Get tested if you suspect you've been in contact with an infected person or if you have symptoms such as a runny nose or shortness of breath. Test results are available within 1-3 business days of liquid sample collection. Also, if your symptoms worsen and your test results are positive, call your doctor.

Author's Bio: 

UniQ Pathlab (UPL) is a registered and reliable pathology lab in Delhi NCR for several different diagnostic tests. With the state-of-the-art pathology lab setups in Delhi, Noida, and Greater Noida, we offer an extensive array of pathology test services. On our customers’ request and needs, we conduct diagnostic tests for diabetes, thyroid, kidney, liver, heart, pregnancy, Covid-19, stress, cancer, anaemia, and allied others along with full body tests. We are the first choice of our patients due to our highly accurate test reports, onsite & offsite test facilities, timely delivery of test reports, affordable test packages, and fast response.