Highlights

  • Centre writes to states about decline in Covid testing numbers
  • Centre to state: increase Covid testing in strategic manner
  • Centre: Covid testing a key strategy for pandemic management

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Centre flags decrease in Covid testing, asks states to enhance it

The Health Ministry letter said that testing remains a key strategy for pandemic management as it helps in identification of new clusters and new hotspots of infection

Flagging a decline in the number of Covid-19 tests in many states and union territories, the Centre on Monday asked them to enhance testing so that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic can be kept and immediate citizen-centric action can be initiated.

In a letter to states and UTs, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Arti Ahuja advised them to pay attention to this aspect immediately and increase the testing in a strategic manner keeping in view the trend of case positivity in specific areas.

Referring to the ministry's earlier letters and the Home Ministry advisory of December 27 last year laying out the broad framework of pandemic management in the context of Omicron, Ahuja said testing remains a key and crucial component.

"However, it is seen from the data available on the ICMR portal that testing has declined in many states and union territories," she wrote.

She said in all advisories on testing issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), including the latest on January 10, the basic objective remains early detection of cases for quick isolation and care.

In addition, testing remains a key strategy for pandemic management as it helps in identification of new clusters and new hotspots of infection which can in turn facilitate immediate action for containment such as setting up of containment zones, contact tracing, quarantining, isolation and follow-up.

This can enable the state and district administrations to curb the spread of infection. Also this will ensure reduction in mortality and morbidity.

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