Who should test for COVID and when? ICMR sets new rules

As per the revised guidelines, people who have come in close contact with positive patients do not need testing unless they fall in the high risk category

Individuals with symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms should definitely get tested.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a new advisory on testing for COVID-19.

One of the most important instructions is that people who have come in close contact with positive patients do not need testing unless they fall in the high risk category (due to age or comorbidities).

Who should get tested?

Individuals with symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms.

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At-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases. At-risk contacts are those above the age of 60 and individuals with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity etc.

Also read: Delhi govt directs all private offices to work from home amid COVID surge

People willing to travel abroad.

Those travelling to India from other countries via flights or sea.

COVID testing should not…

– stop emergency procedures like surgeries and deliveries.

– compel patients to run around looking for appropriate facilities. All arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, mapped to the health facility.

– be made mandatory for asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnancies, unless warranted or symptoms develop.

People who need not be tested –

– Asymptomatic individuals in community settings

– Contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 unless identified as high risk based on age or comorbidities

– Patients who stand discharged as per home isolation guidelines

– Patients being discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per revised discharge policy

– Individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel

On Tuesday, the country recorded 1,68,063 new cases and 277 related deaths. The active count count mounted to 8,21,446, stated the Union Ministry of Health. The daily positivity rate stood at 10.64 per cent. The Omicron tally, meanwhile, has reached 4,461, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of cases (1,247), followed by Rajasthan (645) and Delhi (546).

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