Guidelines issued for RT-PCR-based sampling of migrants returning home from abroad, Health News, ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: The government has decided to use once RT-PCR-based pooled sampling for COVID-19 screening among migrant workers and returnees from abroad stored in quarantine facilities. The same testing technique would also be used for monitoring in green zone districts that have not reported any cases until now or in the last 21 days, Union Health Ministry said while issuing ‘Guidelines for RT-PCR based overall sampling for migrants / returnees from abroad / green zones’ Thursday.

“It has been decided to use once RT-PCR-based sampling for surveillance purposes for migrant workers in institutional quarantine facilities, international passengers in institutional quarantine facilities / hotels earmarked for quarantine and for green zone surveillance purposes (districts without anything) cases / no cases reported within the last 21 days), ”the guidelines stated.

According to the guidelines to be followed for sample collection, a cohort of 25 individuals is identified and neck / nose sticks are collected according to the established protocol of trained laboratory personnel wearing appropriate protective equipment such as apron, gloves, face shield / goggles and N-95 mask.

Proper labeling (name / age / gender / sample ID) must be done on the sample container, it says.

The guidelines stated that 25 such samples of such cohort would be packed in triplicate packaging and would be transported to the identified laboratory under cold chain per day. ICMR guidelines.

The outer container that mentions “tested for SARS-CoV-2” will also contain sender information (name / address / phone number). The samples are distributed and then samples are collected from 25 samples in the laboratory by RT-PCR method.

The report is transmitted to the quarantine / facility within 24 hours.

“If any of the total samples tested positive, individual samples would be tested based on the aliquoted samples preserved in the laboratory,” it said.

A unified testing algorithm involves PCR screening of a sample pool that includes multiple individual patient samples, followed by individual testing only if a pool is positive.

According to the advice of the ICMR on April 13, all individual samples in a negative pool should be considered negative.

The sample collected for real-time RT-PCR screening for COVID-19 is only recommended in areas with low incidence of COVID-19 (initially using a low positivity proxy of less than 2 pc from the existing data.

The death rate due to COVID-19 increased to 2,549 and the number of cases increased to 78,003 on Thursday by registering an increase of 134 deaths and 3,722 cases within the last 24 hours until Thursday at. 8 a.m., according to the Union Ministry of Health.


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