In a decision that will cut down India’s need for Covid-19 testing kits, the ministry of health in a late night upload on Friday, said that mild and moderate cases do not need to be tested prior to discharge. As per the earlier policy, patients had to test negative twice prior to discharge.
“Mild/very mild/pre-symptomatic cases admitted to a Covid Care Facility will undergo regular temperature and pulse oximetry monitoring. The patient can be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for 3 days. There will be no need for testing prior to discharge. At the time of discharge, the patient will be advised to follow the home isolation for further 7 days as per guidelines…” reads the revised discharge policy on the ministry of health website. This comes at a time when daily cases in India have crossed 3000 for the past four days and deaths have hovered around 100. In the last 24 hours, 3320 new cases and 95 took the total cases to 59662 cases and the total deaths to 1981.
“At any point of time, prior to discharge from CCC, if the oxygen saturation dips below 95%, patient is moved to Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC). After discharge from the facility, if he/she again develops symptoms of fever, cough or breathing difficulty he will contact the COVID Care Centre or State helpline or 1075. His/her health will again be followed up through tele-conference on 14th day,” says the policy.
Moderate cases have been categorised as those whose symptoms resolve within 3 days and maintains saturation above 95% for the next 4 days. “If the fever resolve within 3 days and the patient maintains saturation above 95% for the next 4 days (without oxygen support), such patient will be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset in case of Absence of fever without antipyretics, Resolution of breathlessness, No oxygen requirement. There will be no need for testing prior to discharge,” the policy says.
According to health minister DR Harsh Vardhan the testing capacity in the country currently stands at 95000 per day. The target is to do 1.1.20 lakh tests in one day.
Even for severe cases, the patient would need to test negative only once instead of the earlier twice.