The number of COVID-19 cases in a single day has now touched the grim figure of around 1.80 lakh and the total number of Omicron cases is now above 4,000 in India. Of this, more than 1,552 Omicron patients have recovered or migrated. According to data made available by the Union Health Ministry, the number of active cases in India now stands at 7,23,619 – which is the highest in over 200 days. As the number of people being tested positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory about who needs to be tested and who needs not be tested.
Who may be tested:
In a community setting, those who are symptomatic – showing symptoms like cough, fever, loss of taste, sore throat, breathlessness, and respiratory symptoms – need to be tested. The ICMR also said that at-risk contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases must also get tested at the earliest.
Advisory on Purposive Testing Strategy for COVID-19 in India (Version VII, dated 10th January 2022) @MoHFW_INDIA @DeptHealthRes @PIB_India @mygovindia @COVIDNewsByMIB #ICMRFIGHTSCOVID19 #IndiaFightsCOVID19 #CoronaUpdatesInIndia #COVID19 #Unite2FightCorona pic.twitter.com/0bFN4R5gZ4
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) January 10, 2022
At-risk contacts mean those who are above the age of 60 years or with co-morbidity like hypertension, malignancy, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Also, those who are undertaking international travel or international travellers arriving at Indian airports need to be tested.
In hospital settings, doctors have been advised not to delay any emergency procedure for lack of a test. The ICMR said that patients should not be transferred to other facilities if there is no facility for testing.
Pregnant women in or near labour and asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical or non-surgical procedures must not be tested unless they develop some symptoms. Also, admitted patients must not be tested more than once a week.
People who need not be tested:
The ICMR has said that asymptomatic individuals in community settings need not be tested. Also, contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 need not be tested unless identified as high risk.
Patients, who stand discharged from home isolation guidelines and being discharged from a hospital need not be tested.