Coronavirus in India: The rapid spread of COVID-19 in India has a lot of people panicking. While people are aware of the symptoms, they do not necessarily know when to get checked for the disease. To create awareness regarding this, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday tweeted a guide for when to get tested.
The guide lists out a few advisories for the citizens.
If a person does not have cough, fever or difficulty while breathing, the person does not need to get tested for coronavirus.
If someone is showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and has been to any of the coronavirus-affected countries like Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany or United Arab Emirates, they should immediately contact the state helpline or the round-the-clock helpline number issued by the Union Ministry of Health, 011- 2397 8046.
Alternatively, if any person is showing any of the symptoms and has come in contact with a government-confirmed patient of coronavirus, they should contact the Government of India helpline at the earliest.
Once a person has called the helpline number, the executives will note his/her contact details and get in touch with the caller with the details of the testing protocol.
If according to the protocol it is assessed that the caller needs to be checked for coronavirus, the testing of the patient will be done only in government-approved laboratories.
At present, no private hospital or laboratory has been authorised for testing whether a person has coronavirus or not, according to the Ministry of Health advisory.
- Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) March 16, 2020
The government-approved laboratories and testing sites are run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). According to the ICMR website (ICMR [dot] nic [dot] in), the country currently has 52 testing sites and 57 laboratories where the first test of coronavirus is undertaken. Once the sample is tested and it turns out to be positive, a second confirmatory test is conducted at ICMR's National Institute of Virology in Pune. NIV in Pune is the only institute in India where the second confirmatory test of COVID-19 takes place.
The government has announced that both the confirmatory tests for coronavirus are free of cost for all citizens, providing a relief to the people of India.
Currently, India has 114 positive active cases of coronavirus, spread across 15 states and Union Territories. Moreover, two people in the country have died of the disease, while 13 others have been discharged after recovery. Of the 114 cases, 17 are foreign nationals while 97 are Indians.