Central Government Revises COVID-19 Testing Rules Amid COVID-19 Surge

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Amid the rising number of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 cases, the Central Government revised the COVID-19 testing guidelines.  

On the 4th of May, the Government of India (GoI) included new rules and ruled out old norms for COVID-19 testing. The decision to do so was taken to reduce the burden on the private and government laboratories.

As per the new revised guidelines, healthy inter state travellers and COVID-19 patients being discharged from hospitals after recovery must not be tested for the infection. The circular read, “The need for RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories.”

In addition, testing for COVID-19 recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge would not be necessary.

People who have been tested positive for COVID-19 either by rapid tests or RT-PCR should not be tested again, until treatment.

Non essential travel of people with COVID-19 symptoms should be avoided to reduce the risk of infection.

All asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, as the test would not be mandatory.

In addition, more people are now opting for expensive CT-scans that can detect signs of the infection in lungs. In regard to this, the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director Dr. Randeep Guleria warned against “misuse” of CT-scans. According to experts, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to patients’ chances of recovery.

Recently, many labs and hospitals reported delays in reports of RT-PCR tests. The updates have been reported from many COVID-19 hit states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala and others.

To handle such a situation and reduce the burden, the Central Government decided to ease some rules of COVID-19 testing.

The decision was taken at a time when the nation is reporting more than 3.5 lakh cases on a regular basis, increasing the active caseload by 17.01 % and recovery rate at 81.90 %.

In the past 24 hours, India reported close to 3.86 Lakh cases. In addition, the updates about the lack of oxygen and people dying due to the mismanagement of healthcare facilities and infrastructure is still the same. States are falling short on vaccination, halting the ongoing vaccination drive for people between 18 year to 44 years old.

To contain the spread of the virus, many states imposed night curfews, lockdowns and others extended the duration of the already imposed restrictions. Adding to this, many countries have rushed in medical supplies to augment India’s efforts in controlling the surge and fighting the second wave of the pandemic.

India is currently the second worst hit nation from COVID-19, first is the United States of America.

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