Nine days after the last Coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing, Union Health Ministry, on Wednesday, explained the reason behind the change in COVID-19 discharge policy, in its weekly COVID-19 press-briefing. He stated that the policy had been changed as new evidence suggested that if a patient did not have a fever for 10 days, then he could not infect others - indicating a reduction in viral load in the patient. However, he added that those who are discharged according to the new policy, must self-isolate for additional seven days and not venture outside.
"The new Discharge policy is based on evidence which has found that pre-symptomatic and mild symptomatic cases or moderate cases who do not have a fever for 10 days are unable to spread the infection. But, we have instructed that once such a case leaves the facility they must self-quarantine themselves for 7 days and take necessary precautions by not going out. As evidence suggests they cannot infect people, such a decision has been taken," said Agarwal.
Appearing for the first time in the Centre's COVID-19 press briefing since April 24, ICMR scientist Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar said that till date 25,36,149 samples had been tested till date. In the past 24 hours, he said over 1.07 lakh tests had been conducted- 89,466 tests by ICMR. India's testing centres tally stands at 555 labs - 391 govt labs, 164 Pvt labs, revealed ICMR. When asked if CQ is being dropped from the COVID-19 treatment plan, he added, "Will review evidence to take call on Hydroxychloroquine's efficacy".
On Monday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on Monday, has revised its testing strategy, stating that asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of COVID-19 positive patients must be tested between 5-10 days of coming into contact. Amid the heavy movement of migrant labourers across the country via Shramik trains, buses and on-foot in some cases, ICMR has mandated symptomatic returnees to be tested within seven days. With the wide usage of TrueNat machine for testing COVID-19 patients, ICMR has mandated its usage for testing f suspect COVID-19 cases stating, "All negatives are to be considered as true negatives. All positive samples should be subjected to confirmation by another step, after E gene screening assay".
On April 9, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revised its testing strategy to include testing in 'hotspots/cluster' for all symptomatic cases - within 7 days (rRT- PCR method) and after 7 days (antibody test). The ICMR previously only allowed testing of all people with symptoms with travel history, contact history, SARI patients, asymptomatic people with high-risk contacts and healthcare workers in contact with COVID-19 patients. India's COVID-19 tally stands at 1,06,750 cases with 42,298 recoveries and 3303 fatalities.