Headlines September 7, 2020
On-demand Covid-19 testing without prescription now available
The Union Health Ministry has updated its advisory on Covid-19 testing strategy. It has introduced on-demand testing without a prescription. However, it has also given state authorities the right to modify the modules accordingly.
“A totally new section has been added in the Advisory on “Testing on Demand” which for all practical purposes does away with prescription by a registered medical practitioner although state governments have the freedom to decide on simplified modalities,” said the Ministry in a statement.
The advisory has given details of when the testing on demand ca be given:
- This can be availed of by people traveling to countries or Indian states which mandate a negative Covid-19 test at point of entry.
- All people who wish to get themselves tested.
- Tracking and contact tracing mechanisms should be ensured by the testing laboratories by notifying the public health authorities.
The health ministry also highlighted the frequency of Covid-19 testing. It stated that a single RT PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT/RAT positive test is to be considered confirmatory, without any repeat testing.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had earlier updated their Covid testing strategy with the on-demand facility guidelines.
It said that everyone living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection. It also said that no emergency procedures, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of tests. Pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility.
Mothers who test positive for Covid should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent hand washing while handling their baby for 14 days. They should also be advised on breast cleaning before feeding the neonate.
Home quarantine for 14 days is recommended for all individuals before undergoing surgery to minimise chances of infection before the procedure.
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