Home / News / India /  ICMR issues RT-PCR testing guidelines amid second wave of Covid-19: Details here

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued fresh guidelines for Covid-19 testing as the laboratories face challenges to meet the expected testing target due to the rise in caseload.

The ICMR directed that "RT-PCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR".

It further added that there will be no testing required for Covid-19 recovered patients at the time of hospital discharge.

Further, the ICMR is also planning to remove mandatory negative RT-PCR test reports for health individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel. In an official notification, ICMR wrote: "The need for RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories".

However, it added that non-essential travel or inter-state travel of symptomatic individuals should be avoided. Whereas all asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow Covid-19 appropriate behavior, the guidelines added.

The overall nationwide test positivity rate has gone above 20 per cent in the past month. India has 2,506 molecular testing laboratories, including RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT, and other platforms, as of May 4.

According to the ICMR, as many as 29,33,10,779 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to May 3. Of these 16,63,742 samples were tested on Monday.

India, on Tuesday, reported a slight dip in single-day Covid-19 cases as it registered 3,57,229 new infections in the last 24 hours. The daily spike had reached its peak of over four lakh cases on May 1 but came down to 3,68,147 cases yesterday. With this, India's overall Covid-19 caseload has surged to 2,02,82,833.

Separately, the ICMR published a manual for the counselling of Covid-19 patients, their families, healthcare, and frontline workers.

The ICMR wrote, "The objective of this manual is to guide the counsellors in understanding and addressing the mental health needs of the individuals, who are awaiting results of Covid-19 tests, confirmed Covid-19 individuals, healthcare workers working in Covid hospitals and their family members".

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