COVID-19 | Patients with respiratory illness in hospitals will also be tested, says ICMR

Institute revises strategy to check spread of disease

Published - March 21, 2020 10:17 am IST - NEW DELHI

Sign board directing patients to coronavirus OPD ward put up at the entrance of Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai

Sign board directing patients to coronavirus OPD ward put up at the entrance of Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revised its testing strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19 .

Testing is now offered to all hospitalised patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (fever and cough and/or shortness of breath). Also, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming into his/her contact.

As per the ICMR, direct and high-risk contact include those who live in the same household with a confirmed case and healthcare workers who examined a confirmed case without adequate protection as per WHO recommendations.

Data | India's coronavirus testing rates are among the lowest in the world

The testing strategy was reviewed by the National Task Force constituted by Secretary DHR & DG, ICMR and Chaired by Prof. V. K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog.

The revised strategy states that testing will be offered to all asymptomatic individuals who have undertaken international travel in the last 14 days. “In this, the passenger should stay in home quarantine for 14 days and they should be tested only if they become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty in breathing),” notes a release issued by the ICMR.

It added that all family members living with a confirmed case should be home-quarantined.

Testing is also offered to all symptomatic contacts of laboratory confirmed cases and all symptomatic healthcare workers.

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