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Covid testing should be guided by number of positive cases: Expert group

The COVID-19 testing should not be target driven in Delhi rather it should be guided by the surveillance in containment zones, number of positive cases, an expert group has said in its report.

Coronavirus Tests

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A man reacts as a medical worker collects a swab sample for a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for the Covid-19 coronavirus

The COVID-19 testing should not be target driven in Delhi rather it should be guided by the surveillance in containment zones, number of positive cases and their identified symptomatic contacts, an expert group has said in its report.

The expert group, chaired by NITI Aayog member V K Paul, said an increase in the number of tests should be reflected in increased case finding. It submitted its report under the 'Revised Strategy for control of COVID-19 version 3.0'.

"Merely increasing the number of tests to reduce the positivity rate would not be appropriate...criteria for scaling up of testing should be based on positivity in each district, preferably ward vis--vis the total number of samples tested," the report stated.

Last month, Lt Governor Anil Baijal had asked the expert group to suggest measures to control the COVID-19 situation.

All high-risk contacts irrespective of symptoms, all symptomatic contacts, all elderly and those suffering from comorbidities in containment zones should be tested, it stated.

There should be testing of a person between the 5th to 10th day (since the last contact) if asymptomatic or as soon as symptoms start, it stated.

"Testing should not be target driven rather it should be guided by the surveillance in containment zones, the number of positive and their symptomatic contacts identified and the number of symptomatic persons identified at screening sites," it stated.

At present, more than 80 per cent of tests are conducted by rapid antigen test and in few districts, it is up to 90- 95 per cent. Currently, test positivity is 4.3 per cent by RAT and 20.33 by RT-PCR as on September 24, 2020, it also stated.

The Delhi government has augmented testing in the city.

On Thursday, Delhi's COVID-19 tally crossed the three-lakh mark with 2,726 fresh cases, while the death toll due to the disease mounted to 5,653 with 37 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

On Wednesday, the case tally stood at over 2.98 lakh with 2,871 fresh cases, while the death toll was 5,616 with 35 fresh casualties.

The fresh cases on Thursday were detected after 53,322 COVID-19 tests were conducted the previous day.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, October 08 2020. 23:37 IST