India has witnessed a significant jump in the cases of infections due to the coronavirus. For now, over 250 cases have been recorded across the country. The surge led to development for a new policy for testing coronavirus cases.
The Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) has hence issued a new testing strategy. The policy was issued on Friday. According to the new policy, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of the infected person have to be tested between the 5th and the 14th day of contact with the carrier.
Who can get tested?
Also, the revised guidelines added that patients who are hospitalized with acute respiratory illness, shortness of breath, having fever and cough will now be tested for the virus. Individuals who do not have active symptoms but have travelled internationally in the past 14 days are advised to self-quarantine. /however if they show symptoms, they should get tested. Further, it adds that the members of the family living with the infected person should also stay in quarantine. Moreover, healthcare workers who are exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case or develop symptoms post treating one can get tested.
- ICMR issues revised guidelines to test coronavirus infections.
- asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of the infected person to be tested
- Individuals with a history of travel in the past 14 days should be quarantined.
- Experts say there has been no documentation of a community spread for now.
- Economical testing for the virus is under works.
The new guidelines are launched in attempts to further contain the spread of the coronavirus by effective and early testing and diagnosis. These testing strategies are developed by a task force comprising of Secretary DHR and DG, ICMR and chair VK Paul and a member of the NITI Ayog.
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No account of community spread
However, for now, there have been cases of viral spread via international travels and the local transmissions hence. There has been no documentation of a community spread in the country as such. ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava said on Thursday that samples collected randomly to check the spread of the virus have all tested negative. Community spread occurs when the source of the infection is untraceable.
Some public health experts have been urging to increase the frequency of the test so that the infected don’t go undetected. Labs across the country have tested 15,404 samples.
Economical testing is underway
ICMR is also looking forward to collaborating with private testing labs. There are ongoing negotiations. However, a clause proposed that insists private labs to conduct testing free of cost is a hurdle. As per reports, unless the government finds a way to make up for the lab costs of the private sector, the collaboration might not work out. Covid tests carried out in labs under ICMR and other government-run labs cost around Rs. 4500.
Current tests are being done by kits provided from overseas companies. However, an Indian company Trivitron Healthcare, claims to be in works to for the development of highly economical COVID-19 testing kits. The Trivitron CMD has said that they will be developing kits for both private companies and the government. They are aiming for the testing to be done for Rs. 500.
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Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople