A new advisory released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends that all people living in containment zones should be tested using rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits, especially in the cities that are severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The medical body has also outlined measures to prioritise methods of testing in its advisory.
According to an NDTV report, the guideline suggests, "100 per cent people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection."
“If an individual develops symptoms following a negative RAT (Rapid antigen tests) , an RT-PCR test should be done.”ICMR Guideline
No emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed due to lack of tests, and pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility, it further emphasised.
The medical body has also outlined measures to prioritise methods of testing in its advisory. "For routine surveillance of containment zones, antigen tests should be first priority For routine surveillance of non-containment zones, RT-PCR tests should be first priority," the guidelines say.
“For hospital settings, RT-PCR tests should be first priority. For ‘testing on demand’, state governments can decide modalities.”ICMR Guideline
The body has also advised “testing on demand” for “all individuals undertaking travel to other countries or Indian states mandating a negative COVID-19 test at the point of entry”. The states, however, can use their discretion to modify the approach.
(With inputs from NDTV)