No COVID test during discharge for those with mild symptoms: BMC

No COVID test during discharge for those with mild symptoms: BMC

Written By: / Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:31

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi, May 19:
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued new testing protocol wherein patients who have mild symptoms of Covid-19 do not require testing at the time of discharge and the test will be mandatory only for the patients who were critical. In case of asymptomatic patients, the laboratories have been directed to test only those identified by fever clinics or outpatient sections of private and government hospitals, as per the circular issued on 13 May by the newly appointed Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. The BMC has also said that no emergency surgery can be denied to patients by the doctors for want of Covid-19 testing. The BMC chief has also allowed home testing only in emergency cases. BMC, in a circular, said that it is issuing revised guidelines of testing by superseding all earlier circulars in light of the government of India and the state government issuing their revised discharge policy as per the categorisation of patients. As per the circular, “Testing of mild/very mild /pre-symptomatic cases shall not be required before the discharge if there are no symptoms seen on seventh, eighth and ninth days consecutively. In case of moderate symptomatic patients, testing shall not be required if the patient recovered clinically. Testing is required once before discharge in cases of critical patients and immune-compromised patients when they have no symptoms for three days.”
In the context of not denying urgent surgeries, the BMC circular has stated, “Only if there is a strong suspicion of Covid-19 in persons requiring elective surgery or surgery which can wait for 48 hours, a doctor can ask for Covid-19 test. No emergency surgeries should be denied to the patient for want of Covid-19 test.” BMC has also asked laboratories to not inform the patients about test results without informing the civic body. The laboratories have been asked to report all positive cases immediately, within one hour of results so that contact-tracing may be initiated at the earliest. For patients on regular haemodialysis, BMC has said that the test should not be asked as a routine before every procedure (dialysis). The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Chahal stated that only symptomatic patients who are tested have to be institutionally quarantined. Further, tests for all symptomatic patients can be done only if they have been referred by a registered medical practitioner. The circular mentions that pregnant women, even if asymptomatic, should be tested. “Asymptomatic pregnant women should be tested in the facilities where they are expected to deliver.” The revised guidelines are expected to be helpful since the resources for testing and the infrastructure required are limited.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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