New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday issued a fresh advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy early detection of cases for quick isolation and care. The research body said that people who do not have any of symptoms, which include cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, breathlessness, need not get tested for coronavirus. It also specified that contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 need not get tested unless identified as high risk based on age or co-morbidities.
Only symptomatic people and those above 60 years of age or with co-morbidities, who came in contact with a COVID positive person should undergo tests. The ICMR advisory also said that all international travellers should undergo tests for COVID-19.
Here are the detailed guidelines issued by ICMR:
Who May Be Tested
In Community Settings:
- Symptomatic individuals with cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, breathlessness, other respiratory symptoms.
- At-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases. At-risk contacts are elderly (>60yr) and individuals with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity etc.
- Individuals undertaking international travel (as per country-specific requirements).
- International travellers arriving at Indian airports/seaports/ports of entries as per laid down guidelines.
In Hospital Settings:
- Testing may be undertaken as per discretion of the treating doctor with the following considerations:
- 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, mopped 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.
- Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week.
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 co-morbidities
- 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