Bengal health dept allows OPD-based COVID-19 testing

Bengal health dept allows OPD-based COVID-19 testing

 Migrants wait to board a bus to their native places in Bihar, during the fourth phase of the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Kolkata, Monday, May 18, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Emphasising on the need to test more people, the West Bengal Health Department decided on Tuesday to allow a person to be taken to the sample collection unit through the outpatient department (OPD) for a coronavirus test.

An advisory by the department on revised detection strategy and testing criteria on Tuesday stated that a person "has to be taken to the sample collection unit through the OPD or the fever clinic, in case he is symptomatic, and sample is to be taken on doctor's advice".

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"In the present scenario, the need has arisen to test people in certain situations where he/she is asymptomatic or has no definite contact history," the advisory said. "Hence the issue of OPD-based testing has also come up. Opening up of provisions for home isolation/quarantine has made the matter further relevant,"

The private hospitals that have an approved laboratory for testing coronavirus may go for a walk-in sample collection system, maintaining the necessary bio-safety measures, it said.

The suspected patient has to be taken to the sample collection unit through the OPD and sample is to be taken on doctor's advice. Social distancing and disinfection process have to be duly maintained in the units, the advisory said.

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal rose to 211 on Monday and the cases climbed to 4,009 after 193 more people tested positive. 

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