Hyderabad: The Telangana government, on 22nd April, decided not to test asymptomatic secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients in the state.In its notice to the district collectors, the government said, 'asymptomatic secondary contacts shall be identified, stamped and placed in strict home quarantine for a period of 28 days. They will be monitored daily by the local area multidisciplinary Surveillance teams.
The notice further said only the primary contacts of the positive cases shall be brought to the government identified quarantine centres and tested for Covid-19. “Instances have come to the notice wherein secondary contacts of certain Covid-19 positive cases have been quarantined in government facilities and tested for Covid-19. Only the primary contacts of the positive cases shall be brought to the government identified quarantine centres and their samples taken for testing,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, when NewsMeter contacted a senior medical officer under Telangana government the officer said the reason behind this government decision has not been conveyed yet to the medical officers.
Dr G Srinivas from Junior Doctors Association of Telangana told NewsMeter, “The decision might be because we already have cases pending in the laps for COVID test. But it is not required for the asymptomatic secondary contacts to get tested. Issues arise only if they come out and mingle with the public. If they abide by the government order and stay under strict home quarantine there is nothing to be worried about.”
The state government order comes at a time when Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said 80 percent of Covid cases in the country as asymptomatic. This has made citizens worried about the Telangana government decision to not test asymptomatic secondary contacts.
“This is bad. considering 80% of cases as per icmr’s own admission are asymptomatic,” tweeted a netizen reacting to the government order.
“28 days too long for people to stay home with discipline. Not many can afford,” said another.