Do away with requirement of RT-PCR test for inter-state travel, Health News, ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: The Indian Council for Medical Research in its advisory for Covid-19 testing during the second wave of the pandemic has recommended that the need for RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories.

As part of the measures to optimise RT-PCR testing, ICMR advisory makes it clear that the test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR. Also no testing is required for Covid-19 recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge in accordance with the discharge policy of the ministry of health and family welfare.

The advisory emphasises that non-essential travel and interstate travel of symptomatic individuals (Covid-19 or flu like symptoms) should be essentially avoided to reduce the risk of infection and all asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow Covid appropriate behaviour.

It pointed out that mobile testing laboratories are now available on GeM portal and states must augment RT-PCR testing through mobile systems. “To meet the overwhelming testing demand, it will be prudent to upscale testing using Rapid Antigen Tests,” the advisory recommends.

Explaining the need for a detailed advisory on testing for Covid-19, ICMR cites the “unprecedented upsurge of Covid-19 cases and deaths currently being witnessed across India”. The overall nationwide test positivity rate is above 20%.

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