Barring elderly and special groups, no asymptomatic contacts to be tested

By Special Correspondent

Barring the elderly and special groups, no asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 patients should be tested, according to testing guidelines released by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

As per the guidelines, anyone with Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) symptoms such as fever, cold/cough, myalgia and breathlessness should be tested using the RT-PCR method for SARS-CoV-2.

As for the contacts of RT-PCR COVID-19-positive patients, all symptomatic contacts, all contacts aged above 60, regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity status, and special groups like pregnant women, immune-compromised individuals and differently-abled persons, regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity, should be tested. All other asymptomatic contacts should not be tested.

The Directorate also issued revised guidelines for the discharge of patients. Patients in COVID-19 Care Centres or home isolation would stand discharged and end their isolation after at least seven days have passed since the onset of symptoms or from the date of sampling, provided they have had no fever for three consecutive days.


Re-testing is not needed for discharge from home isolation or COVID-19 Care Centres.

Patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 should be discharged after clinical recovery.

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