New Delhi, Sep 10
With a view to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday directed all States and Union Territories (UTs) to compulsorily test all symptomatic negative cases of rapid antigen tests through RT-PCR tests in order to ensure no positive cases are missed.
When contacted a source from the State Health Department said that Manipur has been following this practise for long and explained that symptomatic persons found negative via RAT are made to undergo RT-PCR test.
The States and UTs were also asked to immediately form a monitoring mechanism via a designated officer or team in every district and at the State level so as to follow up on such cases.
All States and UTs have been urged to urgently establish a monitoring mechanism in every district (via a designated officer or a team) and at the State level to follow up on such cases, the Ministry said.
It added that these teams will study the details of the rapid antigen tests carried out daily in all districts and States to ensure that there are no delays in retesting of those people who are Covid-19 negative but are symptomatic.
The guidelines of both Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) state that all symptomatic (with fever, cough or breathlessness) negative cases of rapid antigen tests as well as asymptomatic cases that develop symptoms within two to three days of being tested negative should be be retested through RT-PCR tests.
“In this background, the Union Health Ministry and ICMR have jointly written to all the States and UTs and urged them to ensure that the all symptomatic negative cases of RAT are mandatorily retested using the RT-PCR test,” the Health Ministry said.
“This is necessary to ensure that such symptomatic negative cases do not remain untested and do not spread the disease among their contacts,” it said.
The Ministry pointed out that this exercise will also ensure early detection, isolation and hospitalization of such ‘false’ negative cases.
Meanwhile, the ICMR has tested nearly 5.3 crore samples for Covid-19 out of which 11,29,756 samples were tested on Wednesday.
India on Thursday logged 95,735 cases and 1,172 deaths due to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which pushed the tally and death toll to 44,65,863 and 75,062 respectively. Active cases have climbed to 9,19,018 while over 34 lakh people have recovered so far.
Hindustan Times (With inputs from PTI)