By Bisheshwar Mishra
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that contacts of Covid-19 patients do not require testing, unless identified as high-risk based on age or co-morbidities. This was stated in an advisory issued by ICMR on purposive testing strategy for Covid-19 in India. The advisory further states that testing is not required for asymptomatic individuals in community settings, patients who stand discharged as per home isolation guidelines, patients discharged from a COVID-19 facility and individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel.
ICMR said, a person having cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, breathlessness and other respiratory symptoms must be tested. It said, individuals undertaking international travel and international travellers arriving at Indian airports, seaports and ports are to be tested. The advisory clearly states that no emergency procedure like surgeries and deliveries should be delayed for lack of a test. It further states that patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility and admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week.
ICMR said that asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical or non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women who are hospitalised for delivery should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop. ICMR stressed that genome sequencing is done for surveillance purposes and is not required to be undertaken for treatment purposes.