ICMR: No RT-PCR test for covid recovered patients at discharge

Owing to the increased load on the laboratories, the ICMR issued a recommendation against repeating RT-PCR tests.


During the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, laboratories are under pressure, therefore the Indian Council of Medical Research (IMCR) on Tuesday issued an advisory. The issued advisory is against the repetition of the RT-PCR test on an individual who has recovered from coronavirus. 

ICMR also said RT-PCR test may be avoided on healthy individuals travelling inter-State to reduce the load on the laboratories.

ICMR shared figures and said India has 2,506 molecular testing laboratories with a daily capacity of close to 15 lakh tests. At present, the laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected target due to the extraordinary caseload and the transmission of Covid-19 among the staff. 

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The ICMR recommended that RT-PCR tests should not be repeated on those who have once tested positive through the same test. It added that no test should also be done after the patient is recovered from Covid-19 and is discharged from the hospital. 

The advisory said that those who are just experiencing a fever with or without fever, headache, sore throat, breathlessness, body ache, the recent loss of smell or taste, fatigue or diarrhoea should be treated as a suspected case of Covid-19 unless proven otherwise. 

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Following are the few points from the issued advisory:

- RT-PCR test should not be reported on any individual who has once tested positive for Covid-19 by either RAT or RT-PCR. 

- No testing will now be required for those who have recovered from Covid-19 and at the time of discharge from the hospital. 

- No need for an RT-PCR test for those who are healthy and travelling interstate. 

- Mobile testing laboratories are now available on the GeM portal. 

- States have encouraged to increase RT-PCR testing through mobile systems. 

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