• No Need To Test Contacts Of Covid-19 Patients: ICMR

    Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week: ICMR

    As the country is battling against the rising number of Covid-19 and Omicron cases,  the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday issued fresh guidelines on who needs to get tested and who doesn't.

    The top government body said that the contacts of Covi-19 patients do not need to be tested unless identified as high-risk based on age or co-morbidities. 

    The ICMR said that at-risk contacts of patients would be those above 60 years of age and individuals with co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, and obesity.

    According to the guidelines, asymptomatic individuals in community settings; patients who stand discharged as per home isolation guidelines; patients being discharged from a Covid-19 facility as per revised discharge policy, and individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel are not required to undergo testing. 

    The advisory said tests may be undertaken as per the discretion of the treating doctor with certain considerations.  Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week, ICMR said.

    The symptomatic (cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms) individuals; at-risk contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases; individuals undertaking international travel (as per country-specific requirements) and international travelers arriving at Indian airports/seaports/ports of entries as per laid down guidelines must be tested for Covid-19, according to the ICMR.

    It also mentioned that no emergency procedure (including surgeries and deliveries) should be delayed for lack of a test.

    "Patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility. All arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, mapped to the health facility. Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical / non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalized for delivery should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop," the guideline mentioned.

    A positive point-of-care test (home or self-test/RAT) and the molecular test is to be considered confirmatory, without any repeat testing, the ICMR advisory said.

    Also, symptomatic individuals, testing negative on home/self-test or RAT should undertake RT-PCR test, it stated.

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