ICMR issues new guidelines allowing testing on demand for COVID-19
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a new advisory on Covid-19 testing strategy, allowing testing on demand for individuals. It has also advised testing on demand for all individuals undertaking travel to countries or Indian states mandating a negative Covid-19 test at the point of entry.
It said the state governments can simplify the modalities to facilitate testing on demand. The ‘Advisory on Strategy for Covid-19 Testing in India’ (version -6) said, it may be modified as per discretion of State Health authorities.
The advisory has suggested that 100 per cent of people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection. Besides, it advised testing all symptomatic individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days.
ICMR has also suggested testing for asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical or non-surgical invasive procedures and all pregnant women who are hospitalised for delivery. It stressed that no emergency procedure, including deliveries should be delayed for lack of test, and pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility.
Mothers who test positive for Covid-19 should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent handwashing while handling their baby for 14 days. They should also be advised on breast cleaning before feeding the neonate.