The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday issued a strategy for testing pregnant women for Coronavirus if a woman lives in a containment zone. All pregnant women residing in cluster or containment areas from hotspot districts who present signs of labour or are likely to deliver in the next five days should be tested for COVID-19 even if asymptomatic, the ICMR said.
"Pregnant women residing in clusters/containment area or in large migration gatherings/evacuees centre from hotspot districts presenting in labour or likely to deliver in the next five days should be tested even if asymptomatic," the apex medical body monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in India said in its guidelines.
Asymptomatic pregnant women should be tested in the health facilities where they are expected to deliver and all arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, it added. Women should not be referred for lack of testing facilities, the ICMR said.
The government, as part its strategy to fight the spread of COVID-19, has already started testing all those having symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose residing in hotspots/cluster areas and in evacuees centres. Also, all hospitalised patients with severe acute respiratory illness, shortness of breath and having fever and cough are being tested for COVID-19.
Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case are also being tested once between five and 14 days of coming in his/her contact. Besides, all asymptomatic individuals who travelled abroad and developed symptoms, all symptomatic contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases and all symptomatic healthcare workers were being tested for the infection as per the guidelines.
The Union Health Ministry also asked states and Union Territories to inform the public in their states/UTs about the official nature of this exercise through media and that they should be made aware of any other calls by pranksters or phishing attempts from any other number.
The total number of positive Coronavirus cases across the country rose to 18,985, including 15,122 active cases of the virus. So far, 3,259 patients are cured/discharged while 603 deaths have been recorded, as per data provided by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(With PTI inputs)