In its new advisory, ICMR has stressed that every person living in containment zones should be tested with RAT kits (Rapid Antigen Testing).
ICMR also recommended “testing on-demand” for every person undertaking travel to other countries or any Indian states with mandatory COVID-19 test at the point of entry.
According to the fresh advisory, the states can use their judgement to modify the approach.
“If an individual develops symptoms following a negative RAT (Rapid antigen tests), an RT-PCR test should be done,” as per the nodal body’s new list of guidelines- “Advisory on Strategy for COVID-19 Testing in India”. These fresh guidelines came after India became the third worst-hit country by the pandemic. Total coronavirus cases in India passes 4 million.
“100 per cent people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been a widespread transmission of the infection,” it underlines.
It further stresses that due to lack of tests no emergency procedures like deliveries should be delayed. It added that pregnant woman should not be referred for a lack of testing facility.
For the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, ICMR is the top body in India. It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
ICMR in its new advisory also mentioned measures to prioritise methods of testing. The guidelines of ICMR says that antigen tests should be of first priority. It further said that to have routine surveillance of non-containment zones, RT-PCR tests should be done at first priority.
“For hospital settings, RT-PCR tests should be the first priority. For “testing on demand”, state governments can decide modalities,” it highlights.
Till now across the country over 70,000 deaths have been reported. Among the worst-hit states of India are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.