Center lifts states/UT as Covid tests drop, cites positivity trend | Latest India News

The Union Department of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday that testing for Covid-19 in many states and union territories (UTs) was down and asked relevant authorities to “carry immediate attention” to the issue and to increase testing in a “strategic way”. ”.

In a letter, the ministry’s additional secretary, Arti Ahuja, said this was necessary given the trend of case positivity in specific geographic areas within the states and UTS.

The official said testing remained a crucial part of the pandemic management framework across the country. “However, it is apparent from the data available on the ICMR portal that testing has declined in many states and union territories,” she said.

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“Please note that in all testing advisories issued by the ICMR, including the latest advisory dated 10 January 2022, the fundamental objective remains early case detection for prompt isolation and care,” it said. -she adds.

The letter says testing remains a “key strategy” for managing the pandemic for two reasons, the first being the identification of new clusters and hotspots of cases that could facilitate action such as establishment of containment zones, contact tracing, quarantine, isolation and monitoring.

“This can enable the state and district administration to curb the spread of infection,” the letter said.

The other reason was to ensure the reduction of mortality and morbidity, the ministry said. “Disease progression to a severe category can be prevented by strategic testing of those at high risk and most vulnerable, as well as areas where spread is likely to be higher,” he said. declared.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in its latest advisory on Covid testing dated January 10, said all symptomatic people and “at risk” contacts of those who tested positive for Covid should be tested for disease. Cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, shortness of breath and/or other breathing problems were among the symptoms listed by the board. This opinion was reiterated by the department in its letter.

The ministry also pointed to its previous advice in which it had recommended that “strategic and targeted testing be carried out on vulnerable people, living in a closed environment, in densely populated areas in new emerging groups and new hotspots of cases. positive, etc.

“To ensure that an effective record of the spread of the pandemic is maintained and that immediate citizen-centered action is initiated, it is incumbent on all states/UTs to improve testing,” the department said.

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