ICMR new advisory allows 'On-Demand' COVID-19 testing

ICMR revises testing advisory allowing 'testing on demand' for coronavirus

ICMR revises testing advisory allowing 'testing on demand' for coronavirus

It comprises 833 Real-Time RT PCR labs, TrueNat based testing labs are 689 and 121 are CBNAAT based testing labs.

Under this category, all persons exhibiting symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI), including healthcare and frontline workers, can get tested.

Testing of all asymptomatic high-risk individuals (people above 65 and those with co-morbidities etc.) in containment zones.

All asymptomatic high-risk individuals in containment zones should be tested.

For this category, the ICMR recommended RAT to be the first choice of test, followed by RT-PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT as the second choice in the order of priority.

These measures are likely to reduce transmission of the infection to their babies, the advisory said.

All symptomatic (ILI symptoms) healthcare/frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation activities can be tested. "It is a matter of great pride that for the last two days (Wednesday and Thursday), the country has been testing in excess of 11.5 lakh samples every day which is the highest daily testing average anywhere in the world", the letter stated.

All individuals who wish to get themselves tested.

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"The official Covid-19 test statistics are likely to have under-represented the extent of the epidemic as many people with Covid-19 would not have been tested, including those with milder symptoms or those who could not access testing centres".

In hospital settings, no emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test.

All pregnant women in/near labor who are hospitalized for delivery can be tested.

In hospital settings, COVID test is recommended for all patients of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), all symptomatic (ILI symptoms) patients presenting in a health care setting, all asymptomatic high-risk patients who are hospitalised or seeking immediate hospitalisation such as immune-compromised individuals, patients diagnosed with malignant disease, transplant patients, patients with chronic co-morbidities, elderly over 65; asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical and non-surgical invasive procedures (not to be tested a couple of times a week during hospital stay), all pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalised for delivery.

Global Positioning System recorded 8,985 suspected virus cases between February 14 and April 30, triple the number of people found positive for Covid-19 at test centres over the same period.

It further said that no emergency procedure, including pregnancies, should be delayed due to a lack of testing. It, however, advised against having asymptomatic patients undertaking surgical or non-surgical invasive procedures tested for a few times a week during a hospital stay.

According to the advisory, "atypical manifestations" include stroke, encephalitis, hemoptysis, pulmonary embolism, acute coronary symptoms, Guillain Barre syndrome, Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome, progressive gastrointestinal symptoms, Kawasaki Disease (in pediatric age group).

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