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Covid test not must for hospital admissions

A COVID-19 test is no longer mandatory for anyone seeking admission to hospital for other illnesses.

This is according to the guidelines for “optimising care of primary condition in patients with concomitant SARS-CoV-2 infection” issued by the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak Control and Prevention State Cell of the Health and Family Welfare Department, published on February 1.

It has been decided that COVID-19 test need to be done only for those having symptoms and patients whose treatment requires COVID status assessment as per the decision of the treating doctor.

Single-point entry
There should be a single-point entry for patients coming to hospitals for outpatient services, casualty services, and inpatient care and other procedures in hospitals. The staff on duty there should maintain the standard precautions. There can be a special area for catering to patients who exhibit COVID-related symptoms in wards. The respective departments can earmark specific beds and wards for shifting COVID patients as and when they turn positive for the virus. “For instance, one ward can be earmarked as COVID specific for general surgery, one for orthopaedics, and another for general medicine. All super-specialty departments together can have one ward. COVID specific treatment can be continued in consultation with corresponding medical units,” say the guidelines. Only those patients needing critical care support need to be shifted to the COVID ICU under the admitting department.

The State government is planning to streamline the treatment of non-COVID diseases even as there is no let-up in the number of infections spurred by the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Right now, all patients, irrespective of the diseases they had earlier, are being tested for COVID-19. When they turn positive for the virus, these people are being referred to medical college hospitals or other high-level private hospitals. This is apparently leading to an increase in patient load in medical college hospitals and side-lining of non-COVID patients.

It is learnt that the department decided to change this system after noticing that the Omicron infection among vaccinated individuals is of a mild nature. But, since the spread is very high due to increased infectivity, hospitals are facing problems in providing efficient care for patients with other ailments who get diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection as well. The Hindu

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