The Union Health Ministry on Saturday carried out a training for critical-care management at 1,000 places through video conferencing and said that it will conduct nationwide mock drill on Sunday for emergency response to handle coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, told reporters that guidelines for coronavirus tests have been revised, directing that asymptomatic direct, high-risk contacts of confirmed cases should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in contact with an infected person.
The government is likely to issue guidelines for private labs for the test later on Saturday, he said, adding that people should not go for coronavirus tests “out of fashion” or as a confidence-building exercise. Protocols are in place and that will be followed, he said.
At a briefing, officials also said that the government is working to ramp up production of masks and sanitisers with States asked to allow deodorant manufacturers to produce sanitisers.
There is no shortage of these items and people should not indulge in panic-buying, an official said. There is a lot of misinformation about masks as not everybody is needed to wear them and that social distancing is more important, Mr. Agarwal said.
He said over 262 people, mostly students, will be evacuated from Rome on Saturday. The government of India has so far brought in over 1,700 Indians from abroad.
Asked whether cases of community transmission have been found out, he said people will be told when it happens and, he added, official agencies across the country are involved in tracing over 7,000 persons who are suspected to have come in touch with the infected patients.