WEB DESK \ New Delhi
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday issued an advisory saying asymptomatic individuals in a community setting do not need to get tested for Covid-19.
Also, only at-risk contacts of lab confirmed Covid cases need to undergo a test for Covid and not all contacts need to take the test.
Among categories the ICMR has said may not be tested are—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 and individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel.
The ICMR has listed the following people for Covid testing — symptomatic people with cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and other respiratory symptoms; at-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases (at risk contacts being 60 plus and individuals with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity); individuals undertaking international travel (as per country-specific requirements) and international travelers arriving in India.
If taking a home test or rapid antigen test, a positive report is to be taken as Covid positive. If the report is negative but the patient has fever, cough or sore throat, the sample is to be definitely sent for RTPCR.
The ICMR said in hospital settings no emergency procedure (including surgeries and deliveries) should be delayed for lack of a Covid test; patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility and all arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, mapped to the health facility.
“Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical and non-surgical invasive procedures, including pregnant women in labour who are hospitalised for delivery, should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop,” ICMR said.