The Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR ) on Monday released a revised COVID-19 testing strategy, which includes testing of all symptomatic influenza like illness (ILI) individuals with history of international travel in the last 14 days.
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The other key groups that have been listed as high priority for testing include the front line workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVlD-19 , all hospitalised patients who develop lLl symptoms and all symptomatic ILI among returnee and migrants within seven days of illness.
The other group in the category includes asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact.
The new guidelines warn that no emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test, but samples can be sent for testing if a patient shows symptoms or the doctor finds him/her fitting into the categories, according to a senior ICMR official.
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The ICMR noted that an ILI case was defined as one with acute respiratory infection with 38 degree Celsius fever or more than that and cough, while SARI was acute respiratory infection with 38 degree Celsius fever or more than that and the patient requiring hospitalisation.
The ICMR said all testing in the categories mentioned in the guidelines, was recommended by real-time RT-PCR test only.
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In the previous set of guidelines issued on April 9, the ICMR cleared testing only for symptomatic health care workers. The changed strategy allows testing also for migrant labourers and those being brought back into India from abroad.
The ICMR said in a release that it had so far tested 23,02,792 samples.