India is already coping up with second wave of pandemic, now in a new rule the need for RT-PCR test in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel may be completely removed to reduce the load on laboratories.
It is recommended by an ICMR advisory for COVID-19 testing during the second wave of the pandemic which stated that: “RT-PCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR and that testing is not required for COVID-19 recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge in accordance with the discharge policy of the Ministry of Health.”
The laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected testing target due to heavy case load and staff getting infected with COVID-19.
It is also stated that RAT may be allowed at all available government and private healthcare facilities and setting up dedicated RAT booths in cities, towns and villages to offer testing to people.
Non-essential travel and interstate travel of symptomatic individuals (COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms) should be basically avoided to lessen the risk of infection and that all asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow COVID appropriate behaviour.
The overall nationwide test positivity rate is above 20 per cent. In this time the testing-tracking-tracing, isolation and home-based treatment of positive patients is utterly important in order to curb transmission of virus.
As of today, India has a total of 2,506 molecular testing laboratories, including RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT and other platforms and the total daily national testing capacity is close to 15 lakh tests considering a three-shift operationalization of the present laboratory network.