RT-PCR Test not mandatory in healthy individuals for travel

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RT-PCR test for coronavirus (Image: Pixabay)
RT-PCR test for coronavirus (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : Coronavirus cases in India have been continuously adding with a pace of more than 3 lakh cases per day for past three weeks, increasing the load on testing agencies and eventually causing delay in the test results.

ICMR Director-General Mr. Balram Bhargava has talked about steps to rationalize testing and decrease the load on over-burdened labs.

There is no need for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for covid-19 for healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel, he said on Tuesday while addressing a press conference.

"RT-PCR must not be repeated in individuals tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR. No testing is required for recovered individuals at the time of hospital discharge and also there is no need for RT-PCR tests in healthy individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel," Bhargava said.

"Non-essential travel and interstate travel of symptomatic individuals should be essentially avoided. All asymptomatic individuals undertaking essential travel must follow covid appropriate behaviour," he said.

With increasing number of coronavirus cases during the second wave of coronavirus, there is need of increasing RAT test for early detection of virus in people and putting them in isolation to stop spread of the virus.

Bhargava advised setting up multiple 24X7 RAT booths in cities, towns, and villages. “RAT booths are to be set up with the community in schools, colleges, community centres, RWA offices. Public-private partnership models must be encouraged to establish innovative and convenient testing centres. RAT must be conducted in accordance with RAT algorithm defined by ICMR and all RT-PCR and RAT test results should be uploaded on ICMR portal," Bhargava said.

He also mentioned that people who have coronavirus symptoms must immediately isolate themselves without waiting for the test results.