COVID-19: Some continue to test positive post home-isolation period

Asymptomatic patients who test positive for COVID-19 are considered “discharged” 10 days after their first sample is drawn for testing. According to the latest guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, patients do not have to get COVID-19 test to see if they test negative. However, a few patients, who are under home isolation and are “voluntarily” getting themselves tested before they end isolation and mingle with family, have found that they are still positive, even 20 to 25 days after they first tested positive.

While this has increased their anxiety with many of their doctors advising them to continue isolation till they test negative, health experts say there is no need to remain in isolation if they have completed the quarantine period.

An employee of a private company, who tested positive in south Bengaluru earlier this month, said: “I live with my family. Twenty days after I tested positive, I voluntarily went for another COVID-19 test just to be sure. I was shocked to find out that I was still positive. Now, doctors are advising me to remain isolated for another 10 days.”

According to the latest COVID-19 discharge policy, those under home isolation can be discharged 10 days after the onset of symptoms and three days of no fever or date of sampling for asymptomatic patients. After this, they are asked to isolate for another seven days and can thereafter, resume with their activities.

C. Nagaraj, director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, said they have come across patients who test positive even 28 days after they the first test. “We see this in around 5% to 6% cases. The patients are asymptomatic and clinically fit, but the reports state they are positive. There is absolutely no reason to worry, and patients do not even have to undergo a test before they are discharged,” he said.

‘Viral remnants’

M.K. Sudarshan, chairman of the State government’s COVID-19 technical advisory committee, said this was found among a small percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19. He, however, said it was not uncommon. “We have found that many people with mild and moderate symptoms test positive even if they are checked a month after the first test. This is because the viral remnants still present in their body produce a false positive result,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 5:54:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-some-continue-to-test-positive-post-home-isolation-period/article32432895.ece

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