The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a new advisory said that all people living in containment zones should be tested using rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits, especially in the cities that are badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It has also recommended "testing on-demand" for "all individuals undertaking travel to other countries or Indian states mandating a negative COVID-19 test at the point of entry". The states, however, can use their discretion to modify the approach, according to the fresh advisory.
The new advisory stated that if an individual develops symptoms following a negative RAT (Rapid antigen tests) , an RT-PCR test should be done. The fresh list comes as India – the third worst-hit country by the pandemic- passes 4 million coronavirus cases.
"100 per cent people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection," it underlines.
The advisory further said that no emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of tests, and pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility.
In the new advisory, the ICMR has also listed measures to prioritize methods of testing. "For routine surveillance of containment zones, antigen tests should be first priority For routine surveillance of non-containment zones, RT-PCR tests should be the first priority," the ICMR guidelines say.