ICMR ISSUES FRESH COVID TESTING ADVISORY AMID SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19
TheIndian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued fresh guidelinesfor Covid-19 testing as the laboratories face challenges to meet theexpected testing target due to the rise in caseload The ICMRdirected that "RT-PCR test must not be repeated in anyindividual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR".It further added that there will beno testing required for Covid-19 recovered patients at the time ofhospital discharge.Further, the ICMR is also planning toremove mandatory negative RT-PCR test reports for health individualsundertaking inter-state domestic travel. In an official notification,ICMR wrote: "The need for RT-PCR test in healthy individualsundertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed toreduce the load on laboratories"However, it added that non-essentialtravel or inter-state travel of symptomatic individuals should beavoided. Whereas all asymptomatic individuals undertaking essentialtravel must follow Covid-19 appropriate behavior, the guidelinesadded.The overall nationwide testpositivity rate has gone above 20 per cent in the past month. Indiahas 2,506 molecular testing laboratories, including RT-PCR, TrueNat,CBNAAT, and other platforms, as of May 4.Accordingto the ICMR, as many as 29,33,10,779 samples have been tested forCOVID-19 up to May 3. Of these 16,63,742 samples were tested onMonday.