Many government doctors on COVID-19 duty are coming across a significant number of patients who are symptomatic but tested negative. In such patients, the CT chest findings are suggestive of COVID-19; hence, they are treated as COVID-19 patients but are not included in the official figures, doctors say.
Inquiries with government doctors in many parts of the State, including Chennai, Tiruchi and Madurai, showed that a significant percentage of patients fall in this category: swab negative, typical COVID-19 findings in CT scan and clinical features.
A cross-section of doctors said that at a number of government hospitals, at least 30%-40% of patients were in this category and were treated in wards for persons with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. They said various factors were at play, including the lifting of swabs, the specificity of RT-PCR test and viral load.
“We are actually seeing a…