ICMR Issues New Guidelines For RT-PCR Test Amid Second Wave Of Covid-19

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued fresh guidelines for Covid testing amid the unexpected rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.

RTPCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or RT-PCR, directed ICMR.

The need of RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce load on laboratories. All asymptomatic individuals understanding essential travel must follow COVID appropriate behavior, further added.

At present, the laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected target due to extraordinary case load and staff getting infected with coronavirus.

Following are the fresh guidelines issued by ICMR:

  1. RT-PCR 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 Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  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.
  7. All states are advised to ensure full utilization of the available RT-PCR testing capacity, both in public and private laboratories.
  8. RAT may be allowed at all government and private healthcare facilities.
  9. Testing booths should be operational on a 24X7 basis to improve access  and availability of testing.
  10. Stringent measures must be instituted to avoid over crowding at the RAT testing facilities.
  11. Symptomatic individuals identified positive by RAT should not be re-tested and advised to go through home-based care as per ICMR guidelines.

During the current upsurge in Covid-19 cases, any individual suffering with fever with/without cough , headache, sore throat, breathlessness, bodyache, recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue and diarrhea should be considered as suspect of Covid-19 unless proven otherwise by confirmation of another etiology.

See the details below regarding the above stated fresh measures:

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