ICMR revises Covid-19 testing strategy

According to a report published in Hindustan Times the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday updated its strategy for testing coronavirus disease Covid-19 as the number of infected people crossed 90,000-mark.

The revised strategy proposes all symptomatic individuals with history of international travel in the last 14 days to be tested. It also says that all symptomatic contacts of laboratory confirmed cases, healthcare workers at the frontline of battle against Covid-19 and patients of Severe Acute Respiatory Infection or SARI to be tested.

The asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact, the new ICMR testing strategy says.

All symptomatic patients with Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and patients who develop ILI symptoms should also be tested, it added.

The guideline makes it clear that no emergency procedure should be delayed for lack of test.The ICMR had said on Friday that the number of RT-PCR tests for detection of Covid-19 crossed the two million-mark in India.

A total of 20,39,952 samples were tested in the country as on Friday 9 am, with 92,911 tests being conducted since Thursday 9 am, Dr Rajnikant Srivastava, the head of the Department of Research Management, Policy Planning and Communication at ICMR said as reported by Hindustan Times.

The testing for Covid-19 has been scaled up significantly over the last two months and the capacity has increased to around one lakh tests per day.Starting with one laboratory at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and 100 laboratories at the beginning of the lockdown, the RT-PCR tests are now available at 360 government and 147 private testing facilities across the country, said ICMR.