Tamil Nadu’s Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has issued guidelines on Covid-19 testing and revised guidelines on discharge.

The guildline says that people who are to be tested with RT-PCR for SARS COV2 are those with ILI symptoms like fever, cold/cough, myalgia and breathlessness. Contacts of RT-PCR positive Covid cases to be tested are: all those symptomatic contacts; all contacts above 60 years regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity status and special groups like pregnant mothers, immune compromised individuals; differently-abled persons regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity. All other asymptomatic contacts not to be tested, says the guidelines issued by TS Selvavinayagam Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, last week and released to the media on Monday.

Patients in Covid Care Centre (CCC) or home isolation will be discharged and end isolation after at least seven days have passed from onset of symptoms or from date of sampling. and no fever for consecutive three days. Re-testing is not needed for discharge from home isolation or CCC. Hospitalised severe cases should be discharged after clinical recovery.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Monday said that Omicron variant is the reason behind the sudden rise of Covid-19 cases in the State. Only 1 per cent of Covid patients of ICU in hospitals are utilised so for. Besides creating awareness among the public, the State government is proactively taking steps to control the spread of the pandemic, he said in a seminar.

While speaking at a special media workshop titled ‘Interactive Session with Mediapersons on Omicron Surge, Vaccination of Target Groups, Covid awareness and preparedness,’ Radhakrishnan said that journalists should understand that information during crisis time should not be treated as a commodity. For a pandemic like Coronavirus, which challenges to create a change in the public behaviour with the available facts, it is the responsibility of the media, which plays an important role in sensitising the people, to take the facts to them.

He requested media to do a fact-check before presenting information to the public.C Ravichandran, Professor of Pediatrics & HOD, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, ICH, Madras Medical College, said that during every surge, scientists will do genomic sequencing to find the new variants and will carry out further research on that. In the case of third wave due to Omicron, the surge is very fast in comparison with the first and second wave.

This shows Tamil Nadu might see up to 1.5 lakh cases per day soon. The increase in the daily positivity shows that there is a community spread happening. This is happening throughout the country and not only in Tamil Nadu, he stated in a release provided by PIB.