Guidelines issued for pool testing of migrants, foreign returnees

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New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) The government has issued guidelines for RT-PCR based pooled sampling for migrants and returnees from abroad in green zones, an official statement said on Thursday.
“The decision regarding pool testing has been taken to use one time RT-PCR based pooled sampling for surveillance purposes for migrant workers in institutional quarantine facilities, international passengers in institutional quarantine facilities/ hotels earmarked for quarantine and for surveillance purposes in green zones in districts with no case/no case reported in last 21 days,” the Health Ministry release said.
As per the guidelines, a cohort of 25 people will be identified and throat nasal swab will be collected as per the laid down protocol by the ICMR by trained laboratory personnel under appropriate protective gear with aprons, hand gloves, face-shields or goggles, and N-95 masks.
The guideline further said that proper labeling should be done with detail of the test on the specimen container and 25 such samples of such cohort would be packed in triple layer packaging and will be transported to the identified laboratory under cold-chain as per ICMR guidelines.
“The outer container mentioning ‘be tested for SARS-CoV-2’ will also bear the details of sender….. thereafter pooled samples from 25 specimens shall be tested in the laboratory by RT-PCR method.”
The guideline says further report will be conveyed to the quarantine facility concerned within 24 hours and if any of the pooled samples tests positive, individual samples would be tested from the preserved samples.