On July 18, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization to allow pool sampling from up to four individuals to test COVID-19.
Sample pooling allows multiple people to be tested using fewer testing resources. The test collects samples and tests in batches or pool rather than running each individual sample. When the pool says positive, each sample is tested again individually. When the pool says negative, next set of samples are loaded.
The sample pool testing helps to increase testing in a country.
India began pool testing in April 2020. RT-PCR is the most effective testing to detect COVID-19. However, it is time consuming and expensive. Therefore, pool testing is conducted in RT-PCR machines to save time and resources.
India has also adopted antigen and rapid antibody testing to fasten the testing process.