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Centre Asks States To Retest Symptomatic Cases Whose Rapid Antigen Test Result Is Negative

Health Ministry and ICMR jointly urged all the states to mandatorily retest symptomatic negative cases tested by the Rapid Antigen test using the RT-PCR test.

Written By
Akhil Oka

On Thursday, the Union Health Ministry and the ICMR jointly urged all the states to ensure that all symptomatic negative cases tested by the Rapid Antigen test are mandatorily retested using the RT-PCR test. As per the Ministry of Health, some large states are not following up on the Rapid Antigen test with the RT-PCR test in negative cases. The guidelines of both the Ministry as well as the ICMR clearly state that all negative cases of the Rapid Antigen test having fear, cough or breathlessness should be retested by the RT-PCR test. 

This also applies to asymptomatic patients who develop symptoms within two to three days of testing negative for COVID-19 via the Rapid Antigen testing. As per the Health Ministry, retesting of symptomatic negative cases was essential to ensure that the disease does not spread through their contacts. It reiterated that RT-PCR remains the gold standard of the COVID-19 test.

Read: Centre Releases Revised SOP For Conducting Exams During COVID-19 Ahead Of NEET

States asked to set up a monitoring mechanism

In the joint letter addressed to the states, the Health Ministry and the ICMR maintained that the Rapid Antigen test was used to increase access and availability of testing. Moreover, they called upon the states to urgently establish a designated officer or team in every district to follow up such cases. The details of the Rapid Antigen tests conducted on a daily basis in districts and the state shall be analyzed so that there is no delay in retesting all symptomatic negative cases. The states have also been advised to monitor the incidence of positives during RT-PCR tests conducted as a follow-up measure. 

Read: COVID-19: ICU Beds In Hospitals To Be Increased, Plasma Therapy To Continue In Delhi, Says Jain

COVID-19 crisis in India

Currently, there are 44,65,863 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 34,71,783 patients have been discharged while 75,062 fatalities have been recorded. At present, there are 9,19,018 active cases. A total of 95,735 cases and 1,172 deaths have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours. 

While more than 74% of the active COVID-19 cases are from 9 states, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh contribute 49% of the total active cases. On the other hand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh account for 69% of the total deaths due to the novel coronavirus. With 9,67,349 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra continues to be the biggest novel coronavirus hotspot in India. 

Read: COVID-19 Vaccine: Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN Begins Phase 2 Of Human Trials At PGI Rohtak

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