The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on May 04, 2021, issued fresh guidelines for COVID-19 testing as laboratories are facing difficulty to fulfill the expected testing target ‘due to overwhelming high caseload and staff being infected with COVID-19’.
The ICMR recommended optimizing RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 so that testing can be made accessible and available to every citizen.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issues advisory for COVID19 testing during the second wave of the pandemic; RTPCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RTPCR. pic.twitter.com/Tjkez7lmaL — ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2021
Revised guidelines for COVID-19 testing: Key Points
•RT-PCR test will not be repeated on any individual who has previously tested positive once.
•No need for COVID-19 testing for individuals who recovered at the time of hospital discharge.
•Testing not required for healthy individuals going for inter-state domestic travel.
•Interstate travel of symptomatic individuals and non-essential travel must be avoided to contain the spread of infection.
•ICMR asks States to increase RT-PCR testing across mobile testing systems available on the Government e-Marketplace portal.
•Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to be allowed across all Government and private healthcare facilities.
•RAT booths to be set up across healthcare facilities, offices, schools, RWA, community centers, colleges, and other vacant spaces. These booths must be always operating to increase accessibility and availability of testing.
•Infected individuals who tested positive through RAT advised to practice home isolation and need not be re-tested, as per ICMR.
•If individuals tested negative through RAT must be attached with an RT-PCR test facility and be advised to practice home isolation treatment.
•All RAT and RT-PCR tests must be uploaded on the ICMR portal. All individuals tested for COVID-19 through RAT and RT-PCR should upload their vaccination status on the Sample Referral Form (SRF) in the RT-PCR app.