ICMR issues advisory, recommends test on-demand for COVID-19

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New Delhi (NVI): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a new advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy, in which it has recommended ‘testing on demand’ for individuals.

As per the latest advisory, testing on demand should be done for individuals undertaking travel to countries or states mandating a negative COVID-19 test report at the point of entry and those who wish to get themselves tested.

“State governments to decide the simplified modalities to facilitate testing on demand” the advisory said.

The ICMR advisory stressed that, no emergency procedure, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of test and allowed for testing on demand. “Pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility and all arrangements should be made to collect and transfer their samples to the testing facilities,” it said.

Apart from this, the apex research body said that mothers who test positive for COVID-19 should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent handwashing while handling their baby for 14 days.

“They should also be advised on breast cleaning before feeding the neonate. These measures are likely to reduce transmission to their babies,” the advisory added.

According to the advisory, a single RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT and rapid antigen positive test is to be considered confirmatory without any repeat testing. If symptoms develop following a negative RAT test, a repeat RAT or RT-PCR should be done.

It also suggested that 100 per cent people living in containment zones should be tested by RAT, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection, the ICMR advisory stated.

“No re-testing is recommended prior to discharge from a Covid-19 facility after clinical recovery, including for transfer from a Covid area and facility to a non-Covid area,” it added.

Furthermore, the ICMR recommended home quarantine for all individuals for 14 days before undergoing elective surgery to minimise chances of infection before the procedure.

-RJV