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Covid-19: Why Delhi hospitals still testing generously going against ICRM guidelines

Several Delhi hospitals are continuing with testing during admission of a patient, contradicting revised ICMR guidelines
Last Updated : 18 January 2022, 09:09 IST

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently came out with revised Covid-19 guidelines asking asymptomatic patients in hospitals to not be tested for the virus.

The new guidelines by ICMR say, “asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalised for delivery should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop”.

Sample collection by the state government has dropped by two-thirds ever since, a Delhi government official was quoted saying by The Indian Express.

While testing has dipped in the national capital since the advisory was released, the same is not the case in healthcare centres.

Several Delhi hospitals are continuing with testing during admission of a patient to curb potential transmission inside hospitals and as doctors want to prevent negative surgical outcomes in a person actively carrying Covid-19.

A senior administrator from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said that they had to implement the rules stated by the ministry, but doctors of the hospital have a different story to tell.

“Unless it is an emergency life-threatening condition, we do test the patients before any procedures. The patients are also tested before they are moved from one ward to the other. There is no work-around. Even an asymptomatic person can give the infection to the other sick patients in a ward and then we do not know who will get a severe disease. Not to mention healthcare workers getting exposed,” the doctor told the publication.

At another hospital in the capital, Safdarjung, rapid antigen tests are being conducted on those seeking admission. If they test positive, they are being shifted to the isolation ward, and if they are symptomatic despite testing negative, they are being kept in the suspect block of the same building.

Asymptomatic persons testing negative are moved to other blocks.

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Published 18 January 2022, 06:21 IST

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