Mumbai

No prescription needed for COVID-19 tests: BMC

After increase in number of cases, the BMC health workers are engaged in routine health check up in Mumbai. File

After increase in number of cases, the BMC health workers are engaged in routine health check up in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided that no prescription or self-declaration is required for COVID-19 testing for symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals.

The BMC said the laboratories are free to conduct RT-PCR test for any individual in accordance with the ICMR guidelines. “However, no prescription or self-declaration is required for COVID-19 testing of symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals. 

Home swab collections for COVID-19 testing (only RT-PCR) are allowed and no prescription is required for the same,” it said.

Rapid point-of-care (PoC) antigen detection test for diagnosis along with RT-PCR can be used in containment areas or hospital settings as per ICMR guidelines.

These guidelines state that tests at all containment zones or hotspots must be performed on-site under strict medical supervision. The kit temperature must be maintained between 2 and 30 deegres Celcius. People with influenza-like symptoms would be suspected of having the COVID-19 infection and must be tested.

Additionally, asymptomatic direct high-risk contacts with co-morbidities have to be tested between day 5 and day 10 of coming in contact with the patient.

Asymptomatic patients who are hospitalised or seeking hospitalisation and fall in high risk group — those undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppresed patients including those with HIV, elderly patients, etc. — can also be tested using the antigen tests.

The civic body said the laboratory shall intimate positive status of the patients first to the BMC, who would then intimate the patients. The actual report copy of the positive cases can be shared by the laboratory with patient directly but on subsequent day of intimation to the BMC, only after 11 a.m..

It shall be the duty of every testing laboratory to submit a daily return of opening and closing balance of testing available with it, along with the line of positive care being submitted to the epic cell of the BMC on a on a daily basis. This shall be mandatory for laboratories to enable the BMC to cross-check if the positive and negative reports have been uploaded by the laboratories on the ICMR portal diligently on a daily basis without any discrepancy. The laboratories have been directed to submit the report of number of antigen tests conducted in a given format.

The BMC said the testing capacity of any laboratory would be equal to the number of samples processed by it whose results are submitted to the epic cell within 24 hours of receipt of the sample. It said there shall not be any compromise on this aspect.

Creation of even a single day backlog by any testing laboratory by violating the above definition could render it liable for strict action including cancellation of science of the laboratory. 

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 8:14:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-prescription-needed-for-covid-19-tests-bmc/article32017153.ece

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