'Don't Repeat RT-PCR Test If Person Is COVID-positive': ICMR Issues New Testing Guidelines

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As India continues to report over 3,50,000 COVID-19 cases daily, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday issued an advisory on RT-PCR tests. As per the new guidelines, ICMR said that COVID tests must not be repeated in cases where a person has tested positive for the virus once either by RT-PCR or by RAT testing. In addendum, RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) will now be allowed at all government and private healthcare facilities. In an attempt to increase testing capacity across the country, dedicated RAT booths would be set up in cities, towns, and villages to offer COVID testing to people.


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ICMR said, “An unprecedented upsurge of COVID-19 cases and deaths is currently being witnessed across India. The overall nationwide test positivity rate is above 20 per cent.”

Stating that testing booths may be set up at multiple locations including healthcare facilities, RAW Offices, schools, colleges, community centres, and other available vacant spaces, the Indian Council of Medical Research informed that these RAT dedicated booths will be operational 24*7 to improves access and availability of testing across the country.

Informing that drive-through RAT testing facilities may be created at convenient locations as identified by the local administration, the ICMR in its new set of guidelines said, “Stringent measures must be instituted to avoid overcrowding at RAT testing facilities.”

It is pertinent to note that the ICMR has also advised against testing healthy asymptomatic people for COVID during inter-state domestic travel in a bid to reduce the load on laboratories. Also, encouraging states to ramp up COVID testing through mobile vans, the ICMR informed that mobile testing vans are now available in GeM portal.

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J Das says:

How is testing of 15 tests being done. I am sure it was told that if a person is tested positive a second test was possible after 17 days. This was during the 1st wave.

Mahendra Singh says:

All hospitals busy at the moment

Travel within India not required RT-PCR report thank you GOVT

Mahendra Singh says:

Excellent advise by ICMR THANK YOU

Padmavathy Oruganti says:

Good move , its creating shortage in testing kits and delaying covid.patients reports, as of now 48 to.74 hours patient has to wait for the test report !!

Manoj Mohapatra says:

Because u did nt improve ur capacities last 14month,this organization first goal to protect central govt from highcourts….

Manoj Mohapatra says:

This icmr will take india to crematorium….guideline is just guide it is not gospel truth for physician treating covid….icmr is not cdc.

prashant kalasapur says:

Good guide line news for RT PCR test ,otherwise all india good earning by diagnoise center 🙏

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