How to Download RT-PCR Test Report Online

RT-PCR Test Report Online: Nowadays, we hear the term RT-PCR test almost daily. Most of us never knew that such a medical test existed in the world, until the Covid-19 pandemic that struck us suddenly in 2020.

As a matter of fact, an RT-PCR test is very important nowadays. And more so, a report from an RT-PCR test. In this article, I will answer all your questions about an RT-PCR test and tell you how to download one immediately.

What is RT-PCR Test?

The full form of RT-PCR is Reverse Transcription- Polymeric Chain Reaction test. Now, this might sound confusing to most of us. Therefore, I will explain how an RT-PCR test works. This will give you a deeper understanding about the term RT-PCR itself.

An RT-PCR test involves detection of genetic material of various microbes in the body, especially viruses. The test detects protein and other enzymes secreted by a virus in human blood and, their levels. It works by detecting the RNA or Ribonucleic Acid and DNA or Di-oxy Ribonucleic Acid released by the virus in a human body.

If the amounts of proteins, DNA and RNA of a virus are found in human blood, it proves that the person is infected. However, that doesn’t mean that the person is sick or can transmit the virus. It simply shows whether or not a virus- in our case- Covid-19 is present in a human or not.

Therefore, an RT-PCR test is used to detect whether we’re carrying the Severe Acute- Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Classic Coronavirus. This virus and its variants cause the much- dreaded Coronavirus Disease-2019, which is also known as Covid-19.

Uses of RT-PCR Test in India

There’re various reasons why an RT-PCR test is being used in India since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. Here’re some of the main reasons.

  • Used at hospitals, quarantine centers and other such places to detect whether a person is infected by Covid-19 virus. This helps doctors to decide on the further course of action such as discharging the person, keeping them in quarantine or treating them for a full-blown infection and preventing possible death.
  • RT-PCR test is extensively used when we want to travel within or outside India. Most airlines and sometimes, the Indian Railways don’t allow passengers to board a flight or train unless they have an RT-PCR report that clearly states they’re not infected by the Covid-19 virus.
  • A lot of Indian states and Union Territories require people to carry RT-PCR tests and show them at border checkpoints before allowing entry. This ensures the smooth movement of goods from one state to another since truck drivers and other crew have to carry the ‘negative’ RT-PCR report.
  • For persons traveling on international routes between India and foreign countries, an RT-PCR report is a must. Other than airlines, a lot of foreign governments including the Indian, insist on a negative RT-PCR report to prevent variants of Covid-19 virus from other countries, infecting their citizens.

As we can see, an RT-PCR report is very important nowadays, especially if you wish to find out whether you’re infected by Covid-19 virus and for travel purposes. Currently, it’s the only quick way of detecting a Covid-19 infection.

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Getting an RT-PCR Test

Therefore, if you’re traveling or believe that you’re infected by Covid-19, the best thing is to get an RT-PCR report. Nowadays, there’re tens of thousands of labs and clinics across India where you can get an RT-PCR report quickly.

Here’s how:

  • Visit a lab or clinic approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) that conducts an RT-PCR test.
  • A lot of municipal clinics, government hospitals and private diagnostic centers provide an RT-PCR test and give the report approved by the government of your state.
  • You can opt for either a free or paid RT-PCR test from a government clinic or private one. The fees at private clinics range from Rs.500 per test to Rs.5,000 depending on location and speed of report.
  • Carry your Aadhar card to the center where you’ll undergo the RT-PCR test. The report is linked to your Aadhar card and you’ll get an SMS upon completing the test and when the report is ready for download.
  • Give your exact name and Aadhar number on the form for the RT-PCR test because there’s no facility to make corrections later.

Once you’ve given the test, the next thing is awaiting the report of the RT-PCR test and downloading it for whatever purpose it’s required.

How to Download RT-PCR Test Report Online

Downloading the report of your RT-PCR test is very simple. That’s because you don’t need a computer to do so. Only your mobile phone is enough. And the good news is that you don’t need to take a printout to display the report since authorities will accept the one that’s seen through the link provided on an SMS on your phone.

  • You’ll get an SMS informing that the report for your RT-PCR test is ready, from the government of your state.
  • This SMS will contain a link to view the report of the RT-PCR test.
  • Upon clicking this link, you will be automatically be directed to your RT-PCR report on the specific portal of the state government.
  • In some cases, you might have to request a One Time Password to open and view the report.
  • You can download the report as a PDF file and save on your phone or simply click on the link to show the report where necessary.

Validity of RT-PCR Reports

International and Indian rules stipulate that an RT-PCR test report is valid for only 72 hours. However, remember that this period of 72 hours begins from the time you give your nasal and oral swabs and not from the time the report is issued. 

In wake of the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid-19 virus spreading across the globe, some countries now make it compulsory to carry an RT-PCR report taken only 48 hours before your departure from India. This means, you should have given the test only 48 hours before boarding the flight.

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Efficiency of RT-PCR Reports

There’s a huge debate on the efficiency of RT-PCR reports around the world, Therefore, let me explain something. A negative RT-PCR report doesn’t prove that you’re free from the Covid-19 infection. Nor does a positive RT-PCR test report mean that you’re sick with Covid-19.

There’re several cases around the world where people that’ve undergone an RT-PCR test and got a negative report tested as positive after another test. And similarly, people that had a positive report got a negative one after a second test.

Despite such problems, an RT-PCR report remains the only one that’s accepted by authorities in India and around the world to ascertain you’re not carrying the Covid-19 virus or whether you’re infected.


Q: Is RT-PCR report compulsory?

Answer: An RT-PCR report is compulsory if your doctor suspects a Covid-19 infection. It’s also compulsory if you wish to travel abroad or to another state in India. Authorities, airlines, Indian Railways and foreign governments can ask you for a negative RT-PCR test report.

Q: What is the validity of an RT-PCR Test Report?

Answer: An RT-PCR test report is valid only for 72 hours after you give the nasal and oral swabs at the government lab. The validity doesn’t start from the time you get the report. Some countries require an RT-PCR report that’s not more than 48 hours since you gave the test.

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