Contacts of Covid patients Do Not Need Testing Unless Identified As High-Risk: ICMR

India logged 1,79,723 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, the most since late May, while the active cases increased to 7,23,619. With this, India's Covid-19 caseload has surged to 35.71 million.

Updated: January 10, 2022 10:06 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Victor Dasgupta

A health worker walks inside the Shehnai Banquet Hall, a COVID-19 care facility, during the third wave in New Delhi, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (PTI Photo)
A health worker walks inside the Shehnai Banquet Hall, a COVID-19 care facility, during the third wave in New Delhi, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday released a fresh advisory on testing for Covid amid the unprecedented spike in the cases. The health body said contacts of coronavirus patients do not need testing unless identified as high risk based on age or comorbidities.

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Meanwhile, India logged 1,79,723 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, the most since late May, while the active cases increased to 7,23,619. With this, India’s Covid-19 caseload has surged to 35.71 million. Of the 1.79 lakh new Covid cases, India reported 410 new cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus, taking the total tally of such infections to 4,033 across 27 states and UTs so far.

Advisory on Purposive Testing Strategy for COVID-19 in India

‘Scope: This advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy is for:

  • Early detection of symptomatic cases for quick isolation and care.
  • Early detection of infections in elderly (>60yr) and individuals with co-morbidities (diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity etc) for quick care.

Spectrum of Tests available for COVID-19:

  • Point-of-Care Tests: Home or Self-Test / Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
  • Molecular Tests: rRT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT, CRISPR, RTLAMP, Rapid Molecular

Who may be tested:

‘A. In community settings:

  1. Symptomatic (cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms) individuals.
  2. Risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.

At-risk contacts are elderly (>60yr) and individuals with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity etc).

  1. Individuals undertaking international travel (as per country-specific requirements).
  2. International travelers arriving at Indian airports/seaports/ports of entries as per laid down guidelines.

In Hospital Settings:

  1. Testing may be undertaken as per discretion of the treating doctor with the following considerations:
  • No emergency procedure (including surgeries and deliveries) should be delayed for lack of latest.
  • Patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility. All ‘arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, ‘mopped to the health facility.
  • Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical / non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalized for delivery should not be tested ales warranted or symptoms develop.
  • Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week.

People who need not be tested:

  1. Asymptomatic individuals in community settings
  2. Contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 unless identified as high risk based on age or co-morbidities
  3. Patients who stand discharged as per home isolation guidelines
  4. Patients being discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per revised discharge policy
  5. Individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel

Important points to consider:

  • Testing can be undertaken either through rRT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT, CRISPR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Molecular Testing Systems or through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
  • A positive point-of-care test [Home or Self-test / RAT] and Molecular Test is to be considered confirmatory, without any repeat testing.
  • Point-of-care test [Home or Self-test / RAT] should be interpreted as per algorithm at

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Published Date: January 10, 2022 9:36 PM IST

Updated Date: January 10, 2022 10:06 PM IST