The Gujarat government Tuesday relaxed the curbs on testing for Covid-19 and allowed life-saving procedures to be carried out without waiting for Covid-19 tests.
The move follows Gujarat High Court’s (HC) observation on May 29 that approval from the government officer concerned need not be insisted upon before testing for “certain categories of patients” for Covid-19.
The guidelines issued by additional director, health department, Prakash Vaghela, stated that all emergency and life-saving procedures may be carried out “without waiting for Covid-19 testing in the best interest of patients”.
The notification also allows for five categories of patients to be tested at a private or a government laboratory following prescription by a private medical practitioner. These include symptomatic patients with clinical suspicion of Covid-19, patients undergoing surgery or any other procedure and patients receiving cancer chemotherapy, radiotherapy and planned haemodialysis.
For these categories, a doctor’s prescription recommending testing shall suffice and the patient would not require “any kind of approval in advance”.
Private doctors and laboratories will have to intimate the chief district health officer of their jurisdiction with the patient’s details via email, following which the government shall upload the details on a mobile application, the notification stated.
A modification mentions that “all pregnant women admitted to hospitals located in containment areas for delivery should be tested in the best interest of newborns”. As per a May 17 notification, pregnant women, regardless of the area they were hospitalised in, could be tested seven days prior to their expected due date of delivery.
Another point in the fresh guidelines is that “every symptomatic healthcare worker should be tested on recommendation of a consultant”.
The notification added that for those who do not fulfil either criteria, approval from government authority concerned is required and it has to be provided within 24 hours.
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