Delhi government issues new guidelines for COVID-19 testing as number of cases rise

New Delhi: Even as the number of coronavirus COVID-19 positive cases in the national capital witnesses a spike, the Delhi government has issued new guidelines for COVID-19 sample testing. Only patients who exihibit symptoms will be tested.

As per the Office of Director General of Health Services (DGHS) order issued on June 2, the strategy for COVID-19 testing includes — all symptomatic (ILI symptoms) individuals with history of international travel in the last 14 days; all symptomatic (ILI symptoms) contacts of laboratory confirmed cases; all symptomatic (ILI symptoms) healthcare workers/frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVID 19; all patients of Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARI).

The order further included— direct and high-risk contacts (diabetic, hypertension, cancer patient and senior citizen) of a confirmed case to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact with a confirmed case; all symptomatic ILI within hotspots/containment zones; all hospitalized patients who develop ILI symptoms; all symptomatic ILI among returnees and migrants within 7 days of illness.

According to the order, ILI case is defined as “one with acute respiratory infection with fever more than 38C and cough”. Similarly, SARI case is defined as “one with acute respiratory infection with fever more than 38C and cough and require hospitalization”.

All testing in the above categories is recommended by real time RT-PCR test only, the order said.

However, many patients are unable to get tests done while there are several labs that have not conducted a single sample testing in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the virus has infected over 2,16,919 people which includes 1,06,737 active cases, 1,04,107 cured cases and 6,075 deaths.