22 private lab chains can now conduct coronavirus tests in India
The Union health ministry on Tuesday said at least 22 private laboratory chains having around 15,500 collection centres across the country have been registered with the ICMR for conducting COVID-19 tests.Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing.
The Union health ministry on Tuesday (March 24) said at least 22 private laboratory chains having around 15,500 collection centres across the country have been registered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting COVID-19 tests.
Besides, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing.
The network has a capacity to test 12,000 samples daily. In the last five days, on an average, 1,338 samples have been tested by the government labs each day, an ICMR official said.
In Delhi, three private diagnostics — Lal Path Labs, Rohini; Dr Dangs Lab in Safdarjung Development Area and Laboratory Services, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in Sarita Vihar — have so far been given approval for conducting COVID-19 tests.
The government had on Saturday issued guidelines recommending maximum rate for coronavirus tests by private laboratories should not be more than ₹4,500. It also appealed to the private labs for free or subsidised testing in this hour of national public health emergency.
The ICMR too had recommended the maximum cost for testing sample should not exceed ₹4,500. This may include ₹1,500 as a screening test for suspected cases and an additional ₹3,000 for confirmation test.
The health ministry order stated failure to comply with the guidelines will result in legal action.
According to the guidelines on sample collection and testing, the ICMR has called for ensuring appropriate biosafety and biosecurity precautions while collecting respiratory samples (oropharnygeal and nasal swab) from a suspect. It also called for home collection of samples.
Preferable home collection of samples may be done by all private laboratories that will help avoid the contact of people with the suspect cases during local travel to reach the laboratory, the guidelines stated.
(With inputs from agencies)