COVID-19: Contact Testing Not Required Unless High Risk People Involved, Says ICMR

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Any person, who has come in contact with a COVID-infected patient, does not need to be tested unless the person is identified in the ‘high-risk’ category based on age or comorbidities, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said in its latest guideline on Monday.

In the advisory on Purposive Testing Strategy for COVID-19, ICMR stated that people who need not be tested include “Contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 unless identified as high risk based on age or comorbidities.”

Besides, asymptomatic individuals in community settings, patients who stand discharged as per home isolation guidelines, patients discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per revised discharge policy and individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel need not be tested, ICMR has said.

But individuals with cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, breathlessness and other respiratory symptoms should be tested, the government body said.

Among others who may be tested for COVID-19 include at-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases, individuals undertaking international travel and international travellers arriving at Indian airports, seaports and ports, it said.

In a hospital setting, ICMR said no emergency procedure – like surgeries and deliveries – should be delayed for lack of a test.
The patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility, it said.

Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women in or near labour who are hospitalised for delivery should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop, read the advisory.

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