New Delhi: In a bid to reduce the burden on the testing laboratories in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday (May 4) issued new guidelines for COVID-19 testing.
ICMR has advised to remove the requirement of testing for people travelling from one state to another. The move comes after several states have imposed rules requiring mandatory testing for incoming passengers.
“An unprecedented upsurge of COVID-19 cases and deaths is currently being witnessed across India. The overall nationwide test positivity rate is above 20%,” the ICMR said in a statement.
“Testing-tracking-tracing, isolation and home-based treatment of positive patients is the key measure to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19,” it added.
Apart from travel restrictions, ICMR’s advisory also suggested others ways to cope up with the increasing caseload.
Here are the six measures ICMR recommended to optimize COVID-19 testing:
1. RT-PCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR.
2. No testing is required for COVID-19 recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge in accordance with the discharge policy of MOH&FW.
3. The need for RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories.
4. Non-essential travel and interstate travel of symptomatic individuals (COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms) should be essentially avoided to reduce the risk of infection.
5. All asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow COVID-appropriate behavior.
6. Mobile testing laboratories are now available on GeM portal. States are encouraged to augment RT-PCR testing through mobile systems.
Check out the detailed guidelines here:
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) May 4, 2021