All severe pneumonia patients to be tested for COVID, says Centre

NEW DELHI, MAY 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 5/18/2020 12:22:29 PM IST

Entering the fourth spell of lockdown to manage COVID19, the government on Monday revised its disease testing strategy saying all patients of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) would now be subjected to an RTPCR test to rule out the virus.

Previous guidelines only mandated hospitalised SARI patients to be tested.
The revised guidelines direct the state governments to test all patients of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection, all asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case once between Day 5 and Day 10 of coming into contact; all symptomatic cases of influenza like illness in hotspots and containment zones, all hospitalised (for any ailment) patients who develop influenza symptoms and all symptomatic influenza like illness cases among returnees under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ and migrants within seven days of illness.
The guidelines also mention the previously covered categories for testing which are all symptomatic (influenza like illness) individuals with history of international travel in the last 14 days; all symptomatic contacts of laboratory confirmed cases; all symptomatic (influenza-like illness — ILI) health care workers and frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of C0VlD19.
New guidelines say no emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of testing.
“Sample can be sent for testing simultaneously,” the Health Ministry said today.
ILI case is defined as an acute respiratory infection with fever more than 38 degree C and cough. SARI case is defined as one with acute respiratory infection with fever more than 38 degree C and cough and needing hospitalisation.
All testing in the above categories is recommended by real time RT-PCR test only. Revised guidelines came as India’s daily case growth peaked to a record 5,242 infections taking the total COVID load to 96,169 with 3,029 deaths and 36,282 recoveries.


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