New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): The Indian Council of Medical Research has asked all States and Union Territories to apply to obtain district-wise login credentials for data entry of testing data into the ICMR portal.
"Key strategy to save lives and protect livelihoods remains 'tests, track, treat'. Our continuous endeavour is to increase testing capacity and provide more and more accessible to people for testing. ICMR recently approved a point-of-care rapid antigen test for diagnosis of COVID-19, in addition to the already existing molecular diagnostic tools. Antigen test is a promising tool for quick diagnosis of COVID-19," Dr Balram Bhargava, DG-ICMR wrote in a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs.
The ICMR had advised the use of this test for quick detection of COVID-19 patients in containment zones and hospitals, dated in an advisory on June 14.
"With the use of antigen tests, more and more tests are being carried out. lt is absolutely necessary that all such testing data is uploaded on the ICMR database and all positive cases are brought to the attention of district/ municipal authorities for isolation/ quarantine/ treatment, as the case maybe it is expected that to provide safe healthcare services, all Govt. hospitals/ labs, as well as all private NABH/NABL hospitals/labs, may initiate antigen testing and also apply for obtaining login credentials for data entry into the ICMR portal," the letter read further.
Bhargava further added, "In a further effort to facilitate and further liberalise testing, the lCMR has generated five common login credentials for each district of your State/ UT, which may be shared with all Government and private facilities selected for antigen testing. You may nominate a nodal person from your State/ UT, who could contact the ICMR team for obtaining login credentials."
The DG further wrote that in order to enhance testing and reporting of them is done seamlessly, respective State/ UT governments should identify/ approve all government and private facilities who would be providing COVID-19 diagnosis through antigen-based assays.
"The common login credentials should be shared with all government and private facilities approved by the state. individual organisations should not separately approach ICMR now for obtaining logins for antigen testing. However, ICMR / Mentor institutes will continue to review and approve all applications for RT-PCR based testing," read the letter.
"Attached algorithm for interpreting the antigen test should be followed wherein all positives can be labelled as true positives and symptomatic negatives should be subjected to RT-PCR. The states should ensure that all the antigen testing points are appropriately linked with RT-PCR facility, where symptomatic negatives will be tested," the letter added.
Bhargava further said that the district-wise login credentials should be shared with all antigen testing sites (Government and Private) "so that data can be entered into the ICMR portal on a real-time basis".
With the highest single-day spike of 32,695 cases and 606 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 tally on Thursday reached 9,68,876, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
The total number of COVID-19 cases includes 3,31,146 active cases, 6,12,815 cured/discharged/migrated and 24,915 deaths. (ANI)