Provision of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits should be made at all public health facilities including sub-centres or Health and Wellness Centres and Primary Health Centres, the Union Health Ministry said. Noting that besides urban areas reporting a large number of cases, a gradual ingress is now being seen in peri-urban, rural and tribal areas as well, the Ministry released the ‘SOP on COVID-19 Containment and Management in Peri-urban, Rural & Tribal areas’.
It said COVID care centres (CCC) can admit a suspect or confirmed case but should have separate areas for suspected and confirmed cases with preferably separate entry and exit for each. According to the SOP, in every village, active surveillance should be done for influenza-like illness/ severe acute respiratory infections(ILI/SARI) periodically by ASHA with help of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC).
Symptomatic cases can be triaged at village level by tele-consultation with Community Health Officer, and cases with comorbidity or low oxygen saturation should be sent to higher centres. Identified suspected COVID cases should link for testing to health facilities either through COVID-19 rapid antigen testing or by referral of samples to nearest COVID-19 testing laboratory, in accordance with ICMR guidelines. CHOs and ANMs should be trained in performing Rapid Antigen Testing. Provision of RAT kits should be made at all public health facilities including Sub-centres, Health and Wellness Centres and Primary Health Centres, the document said.