As the COVID-19 pandemic is ripping through India, CT-Value, a term that appears in RT-PCR COVID-19 test reports, has become an important and popular term in people’s vocabulary.

It is the number of cycles after which the virus can be detected in a person from their collected swab. Globally, if the CT-Value falls below 35-40, the test result is declared as COVID-19 positive.

But how does the CT-Value help determining the presence of the virus? This question was recently asked by the Maharashtra government to, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Also read: Negative RT-PCR tests blamed on faulty sample collection, wrong timing

According to the ICMR, a patient is considered as COVID-19 positive if the CT-Value is below 35. This is based on the input that has been taken from various virology labs.

The Cycle Threshold Value is important as it indicates the viral load in a person. Higher the viral load, lower the CT-Value, which means it took a fewer number of cycles to detect the virus in a person.

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