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ICMR revises COVID-19 testing criteria

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By Priyanka Sharma

New Delhi | March 18, 2020 2:41:24 AM IST
The Indian Council of Medical Research has revised the criteria for testing coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. According to the ICMR, an individual should home quarantine himself/herself for 14 days if they develop symptoms.

An expert committee met on Monday and gave its revised protocol for COVID-19 testing. Previously, on March 9, ICMR had issued testing protocol for respiratory illness and now issued a fresh testing standard for COVID-19.

Prof (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General, ICMR told ANI, "The fresh testing criteria for COVID19 has been finalized today. First, the current testing strategy is that all asymptomatic patients who have undertaken international travel in the last two weeks should be home quarantine for 14 days. They should be tested only if they become symptomatic with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. If tested positive, they should be isolated and treated as per standard protocol."

Bhargava said that patients should stay at home and quarantine themselves for 14 days. They should be tested immediately if they have symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.

The third, is for all healthcare workers managing respiratory distress or Severe Acute Respiratory Illness who are showing symptoms of acute respiratory illness. "These healthcare workers should get a laboratory test for COVID-19. If these cases are tested positive, then they should be isolated and treated as per the standard protocols. As of now, we have got samples of about 25 healthcare workers. Test results are awaited," said Dr Nivedita Gupta, Scientist at ICMR.

So far, India has reported 137 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Out of which, 120 are active cases, 14 patients got cured and discharged and three people lost their lives due to the virus.

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it has pandemic. Globally, over 1,45,000 confirmed cases have been reported and more than 5,500 people have died. (ANI)

 
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