The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has adopted the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for ‘testing on demand’ for Covid.
People wanting a Covid-19 test can now walk into private pathology labs across Uttar Pradesh and get themselves screened. They will no longer need any prescription but will have to specify the reason for the test.
Pathology labs have also been allowed collection of Covid samples from homes.
The ICMR officials had stated that the move aims at simplifying modalities such as doing away with need for prescription and setting out the method of testing, especially for domestic and international travellers, who need a Covid-19 negative report for easier screening at the airports.
“Tests on demand should be allowed for all individuals who wish to get themselves tested and all individuals undertaking travel to other countries or states, mandating a negative Covid-19 test at the point of entry,” the advisory said.
A committee of health officials in Uttar Pradesh also believed that ‘there was no problem in adopting the recommendation’ though no formal government order has been issued in this regard yet.
“The ICMR guideline is sufficient in its own way. Government orders are issued only to facilitate implementation of different guidelines. But in this case, everything is clear,” said a senior health official.
The move will also allow home collection of Covid-19 samples which is a major relief for patients suffering with other diseases who need ‘Covid-19 negative report’ to continue their regular treatment.
“Prescription was made mandatory for Covid-19 testing by the local administration, which was hampering self-reporting of suspected cases that do not fit in the classical definition of the primary or secondary contact. In addition, a number of pregnant women, ailing elderly persons and those who need to join jobs were facing difficulty on account of the verbal order,” said the owner of a pathology lab in Lucknow.