Strategy for covid-19 testing in Kerala state
The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Kerala had reported the first case in India on January 30th 2020. With proper identification of individuals with risk, rigorous contact tracing, ensuring good quality home isolation, testing all eligible individuals and providing high quality care to COVID cases, Kerala state had managed to contain the COVID -19 epidemic till date. Since January various structures had been put in place for the control of COVID. One of the strong pillars was the setting of testing strategy for diagnosing COVID-19. This report describes the testing strategy of Kerala, which is based on a strong epidemiological and public health approach. Importation and transmission-based approach for Testing Strategy On January 26th 2020, even before the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the state, the Kerala state had issued comprehensive guidelines for prevention and control of COVID-19, followed by guidelines on sample collection, transportation and testing of novel corona virus infections on 1 st February, 20202 . The testing, quarantine, hospital admission and discharge criteria for novel corona virus (earlier name-nCoV) were issued on 1st February, 2020 just before the second case in the state and in the country, the issue of revised surveillance on 1st February 2020, the declaration of two dedicated hospitals for each of the 14 districts in the state for COVID management on 1st February 2020 are measures of the farsightedness and preparedness to deal with the pandemic.