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Sharmili Mallick

A day after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued revised guidelines for Covid-19 testing, Director of Odisha Public Health, Dr Niranjan Mishra Saturday said people having no symptoms need not require tests unless they are suffering from co-morbid conditions.

On Friday, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava had said that anyone having a contact history with a Covid-infected patient does not necessarily need to undergo the Covid-19 test unless the person is in the 'high-risk' category based on age or comorbidities.

Meanwhile, stating that the State Health Department has informed the district administrations regarding the ICMR’s fresh guidelines on testing, Mishra said, “As per the Centre's guidelines, those without symptoms do not need to take a test. Tests are also not required for asymptomatic contacts of Covid patients. Besides, if anyone is having co-morbidities, s/he can undergo the test.”

“People without symptoms were never prescribed any medication. Therefore, people are advised not to use unnecessary drugs and antibiotics,” he added.

“Those recovering from Covid do not need to re-test after staying in home isolation unless they record fever during the last three days. Those admitted to ICU or are seriously ill need to undergo RT-PCR test to confirm their recovery from the disease,” informed the State Public Health Director. 

Claiming that the hospitalisation rate at present is considerably lesser than the second wave, Mishra informed, “Out of the around 61,000 active cases in the State, only 1100 patients are hospitalised as of today which is less than 2 per cent of the total active cases. Similarly, out of the hospitalised patients, around 350 or 360 infected persons are in ICU,” he added.

He said patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms can stay in home isolation. However, patients who are critical or need oxygen support will have to get admitted, Mishra added.

He said the disease will one day make its transition from pandemicity to endemicity though it will remain in society. “The transmission of the disease will continue. We will only have to check the percentage of the hospitalisation and death rates. Many foreign countries have also eased the curbs for Covid-19,” said Mishra.

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