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ICMR Issues New Testing Guidelines For COVID-19

BP World Bureau | May 05 2021 03:29:06 PM
Image credits: Twitter

NEW DELHI: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued new testing guidelines issued amidst the second wave of COVID-19 infections. 

ICMR suggested authorities reduce RT-PCR tests to take the load off the existing laboratories, although both centre and states wanted to increase the proportion of RT-PCR tests.

In the new guidelines, ICMR has recommended;

  1. No RT-PCR tests are needed if the person tested positive by rapid antigen test or tested positive once by RT-PCR test.
  2. No RT-PCR test is needed if a person completed a 10 days home isolation period with no fever for the last 3 days.
  3. No RT-PCR test is needed if the person has been discharged from the hospital. 
  4. Healthy individuals undertaking interstate domestic travel need not undergo the RT-PCR test. 

India can do 15 lakh tests in its 2,506 molecular testing laboratories, including RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT, and other platforms.

ICMR further stated that RT-PCR should be taken if, "individuals with symptoms identified negative by rapid antigen testing should be linked with RT-PCR test facility."

Entering the information of vaccination status in the testing form for RAT or RT-PCR has been made mandatory by ICMR. 

Any individual should be considered as a suspect case if they have symptoms of COVID-19 like;

  1. Fever (with or without cough)
  2. Headache
  3. Sore throat
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Body ache
  6. Loss of taste or smell
  7. Fatigue 
  8. Nausea/Diarrhea