A Discussion on Implementing Pooling Detection Tests of Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) for Large Population

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17
Journal / PublicationEpidemiology and Infection
Online published5 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021



A pooled sample analysis strategy for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is proposed for large population in this paper. The population to be tested is divided into divisions based on earlier observed detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 first. Samples collected are then grouped in appropriate pooled size. The number of tests per person in that population is expressed as a function of two variables: The observed detection rate and the pooled size or number of samples grouped. The minimum number of tests per person can be further shown to be a function of only one of these two variables, because these two parameters are found to be related at this minimum. A management scheme on grouping the samples is proposed in order to reduce the number of tests, to save time, which is of utmost importance in fighting epidemic. The proposed testing scheme will be useful for supporting the government in making decisions to handle regular routine detection tests for identifying asymptomatic patients and implementing health code system in large population of millions of citizens. Another important point is to use smaller number of test kits, allowing more resources to speed up the mass screening tests, particularly in places not so rich.

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