The Delhi government has made it compulsory to carry out rapid antigen detection testing of high risk group patients. It has directed all healthcare facilities to carry out such tests on patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms or admitted with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).
An order issued by the Delhi Health department directed all medical directors, medical superintendent and directors of all Delhi government-run hospitals to ensure that “rapid antigen detection testing” of all individuals/patients falling in the categories listed, who visit their hospital, is mandatorily done, a PTI report said.
The order defines high-risk group undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressed, suffering from a malignancy, transplant patients and elderly (over 65 years of age) with co-morbidities.
“All asymptomatic patients admitted or seeking admission of following high-risk group — patients undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressed patient including HIV+, patients with malignant disease, transplant patients, elderly patients (65 years of age) with co-morbidities and all asymptomatic patients undergoing aerosol generating interventions,” the order said.
The Antigen test is carried out to detect the presence of any antigen or foreign molecule in the body. Antigen induces an immune response within the body, especially the production of antibodies, and detecting its presence determines present infection. Delhi was the first state to roll out antigen based testing in June as Covid-19 cases had seen an unusual surge.