Sample test criteria for Covid-19 can be reviewed: Ministry of Health

NEW DELHI: Friday said there was an opportunity to review the sample criteria to test Covid-19, if necessary.

At a press conference here, the Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare said: We are taking samples in critical areas and in the areas where we have the most cases. In addition to that, we are testing cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Disease (SARI) and (ILI). There is an opportunity to review the sample criteria if the need arises, but so far no such decision has been made.

When asked by the media if the ministry had classified the tests in red or white areas, he said: There is a particular process and guidelines. There's no point in testing just to build confidence and also at a time when test kits are always going to be limited. It may not be the right strategy.

Dr. Manoj Muhekar of the Indian Council for Medical Research, who was also present at the press conference, said at least 8,000 tests were performed on Thursday, which was the highest number performed in a single day.

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There are currently 182 laboratories in the country that provide diagnosis for Covid-19. This includes 130 laboratories in the government sector and 52 laboratories in the private sector. Cumulatively, about 66,000 samples have been analyzed so far. At least 8,000 samples were tested yesterday (Thursday), which is, so far, the largest number of samples analyzed for Covid-19 in a day in the country by ICMR, he said.

Dr. Muhekar also said that the ICMR is likely to publish guidelines on Saturday for a rapid diagnostic test for the disease.

Yesterday, we had a meeting to discuss and finalize the guidelines for the use of rapid diagnostic tests. I hope we can launch this tomorrow. Its main purpose will be how to implement this test in high and low risk. access points and areas and 'no' access point areas, he said.

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