Amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Center on Friday called on states and union territories to consider anyone with fever, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches as a suspected COVID-19 case and to perform testing.
“It is also pointed out that during the current upsurge in COVID-19 cases, anyone with fever with / without cough, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches, recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue and diarrhea should be considered a suspected case of COVID-19, unless proven otherwise by confirmation of another etiology. All of these people need to be tested. While awaiting the test results, they should be counseled to self-isolate immediately and follow Ministry of Health and Family Welfare home isolation guidelines. ”Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, said in a letter to States and UTs.
Bhushan also called on states and UTs to expedite rapid antigenic testing (RAT), as RTPCR-based testing causes delays in confirming the diagnosis due to its 5-8 hour turnaround time.
He urged them to set up several 24/7 RAT booths and allow RATs in public and private hospitals, including all district hospitals and primary health care centers.
“The use of home self-tests / tests can be encouraged for symptomatic individuals. Seven of these home test kits have been approved so far, and two of them are also available on the GeM portal,” indicates the letter.
“All RT-PCR and RAT results should be uploaded to the ICMR portal,” he added.
India has a network of 3,117 molecular testing laboratories, including 2,014 RTPCR, 941 TrueNat, 132 CBNAAT and 30 other testing platforms. India’s estimated daily molecular testing capacity is over 20 lakh per day.
India reported 16,764 new cases of COVID-19 and 1,270 of its Omicron variant on Friday.
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