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Retest All COVID-19 Symptomatic Negative Cases Of Rapid Antigen Test Using RT-PCR Test: Centre

To not miss out on potentially positive case of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry has urged all states and Union Territories (UTs) to mandatorily retest all symptomatic negative cases of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) through gold-standard RT-PCR test

Retest All COVID-19 Symptomatic Negative Cases Of Rapid Antigen Test Using RT-PCR Test: Centre
Highlights
  • Rapid Antigen Test is used to increase access and availability of testing
  • RT-PCR test is considered as the gold-standard test to diagnose COVID-19
  • ICMR guidelines suggest retesting all symptomatic patients through RT-PCR

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has urged all states and Union Territories (UTs) to mandatorily retest all symptomatic negative cases of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) through gold-standard RT-PCR tests to diagnose COVID-19. The Health Ministry noted that in several large states, symptomatic negative cases tested by antigen tests were not being followed up by RT-PCR testing.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Roundup: Trials Of Oxford Vaccine Candidate, A Frontrunner In The Global Race, Are Paused After Unexplained Illness Occurred In A Volunteer

“The aim of States and UTs is to ensure that no potentially positive case is missed out. The Union Health Ministry and ICMR have jointly written to all the States/UTs and directed them to ensure that all symptomatic negative cases of RAT should be mandatorily retested using the gold standard RT-PCR test,” a senior Health Ministry official said.

The guidelines of ICMR, as well as the Union Health Ministry, clearly state that the following two specific categories of persons must necessarily be retested through RT-PCR tests: (i) all symptomatic (fever or cough or breathlessness) negative cases of antigen tests. (ii) Asymptomatic negative cases of RAT that develop symptoms within 2 to 3 days of being tested negative.

Also Read: Now Doctor’s Prescription Not Required For COVID-19 Test In Delhi

This is necessary to ensure that such symptomatic negative cases do not remain untested and do not spread the disease among their contacts. This will also ensure early detection and isolation/hospitalization of such false negatives. It has also been reiterated in the joint letter that while the RAT is being used to increase access and availability of testing in the field, RT-PCR remains the gold standard of COVID tests, said the official.

The Centre has also urged the States/UTs to urgently establish a monitoring mechanism in every district (a designated officer or a team) and at the State level to follow up such cases.

Also Read: Convalescent Plasma Therapy Didn’t Help In Reducing COVID-19 Deaths: ICMR Study

These teams shall analyse details of RAT conducted on a daily basis in the Districts and State and ensure that there are no delays in retesting of all symptomatic negative cases, it said.

State authorities have also been advised to undertake an analysis on a regular basis to monitor the incidence of positives during the RT-PCR tests conducted as a follow-up, said the government official.

Also Read: Health Ministry Releases Guidelines For Partial Reopening Of Schools For Students Of Classes 9-12 On Voluntary Basis

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

 

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Omkar Prakash Shigavan

    April 24, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Testing covide 19 report

  2. Omkar Prakash Shigavan

    April 24, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Covide19 testing report

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