PTI Last Updated: May 18, 2020, 07.21 PM IST

Revising its strategy for COVID-19 testing, ICMR said on Monday that returnees and migrants who show symptoms for influenza-like illness will be tested for coronavirus infection within seven days of ailment and stressed that no emergency clinical procedure, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of testing. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its revised strategy for coronavirus testing in India also added that all hospitalised patients who develop symptoms for influenza-like illness (ILI) and frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVID-19 having such signs will also be tested for coronavirus infection through RT-PCR test.

Besides, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case are to be tested once between day five and day 10 of coming in contact, the new document stated. Asymptomatic contacts of a confirmed case were being tested once between day five and day 14.

An official said, "The apex body for health research revised its strategy in view of a spurt in coronavirus cases in the country. The new strategy aims to contain the spread of infection more effectively and to provide reliable diagnosis to all individuals meeting the inclusion criteria of COVID-19 testing."

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 3,029 and the number of cases climbed to 96,169 on Monday, registering an increase of 157 deaths and a record jump of 5,242 cases in 24 hours since sunday 8 am.

"ILI case is defined as one with acute respiratory infection with fever more than or equal to 38 degrees Celsius and cough while a SARI case is defined as one with acute respiratory infection with fever more than or equal to 38 degrees Celsius and cough and requiring hospitalisation," the ICMR stated.

Till now, people with ILI symptoms living within hotspots or containment zones, patients of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and symptomatic healthcare workers were being tested for coronavirus infection as per the guidelines.

All asymptomatic individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days and all symptomatic contacts of laboratory-confirmed case were also being tested.

"No emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test," the ICMR said, adding all testing in the categories is recommended by real time RT-PCR test only.