Centre calls for tuberculosis screening among COVID-infected patients, as TB cases surge


New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said COVID-19 infection can make people more susceptible to developing active tuberculosis after reports of rising cases of Tuberculosis among patients who were infected with COVID-19. 

Though, there is not enough evidence currently to suggest that there has been an increase in TB cases due to COVID-19 or due to increased case finding efforts, the Union Health Ministry said. States and Union Territories have been asked to ramp up surveillance and finding of TB and COVID-19 cases as early as August 2020.

The ministry issued the advisory said there have been some news reports alleging that a sudden rise in TB cases which has left doctors worried. Around a dozen cases are being reported every day.

“It is clarified that tuberculosis screening for all COVID-19 patients and COVID-19 screening for all diagnosed TB patients has been recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” it said.

“Due to the impact of COVID-related restrictions, case notifications for TB had decreased by about 25 per cent in 2020 but special efforts are being made to mitigate this impact through intensified case finding in OPD settings as well as through active case finding campaigns in the community by all states,” the statement read.

The Centre said special efforts are being made to mitigate this impact through intensified case finding in OPD settings as well as through active case finding campaigns in the community by all states.

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