These Private Labs Can Now Test for COVID-19 in India
The ICMR has released a list of private labs that can now conduct COVID-19 tests in India.
As per the list released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on 22 March, twelve private labs can test for COVID-19 in India. These are dispersed in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
- Delhi: Lal Path Labs, Block -E, Sector 18, Rohini, Delhi
- Gujarat: Unipath Specialty laboratory limited, Ahmedabad
- Haryana: Strand Life Sciences, A-17, Sector 34 and SRL Limited, GP26, Sector 18, Gurugram
- Karnataka: Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Bengaluru
- Maharashtra: Thyrocare Mumbai, Suburban Diagnostics Mumbai, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd Mumbai, Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, SRL Limited, Prime Square Building, Plot No 1, Gaiwadi, Industrial Estate, SV Road, Goregaon
- Tamil Nadu: Dept. of Clinical Virology, CMC, Vellore, Department of Laboratory Services, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, Chennai
The list is expected to be updated as per the functionality of labs.
This list comes a day after ICMR notified its guidelines on private labs that can test for the novel coronavirus. As per the notification, only those that have been accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) can provide for testing, if they have US FDA approved kits.
The tests can happen once a qualified physician has prescribed the test following ICMR guidelines. Some other rules for testing by private labs include:
- Preferably, home collection of samples may be done by all the private labs.
- Only real time PCR based assays are recommended.
- All the lab staff involved in COVID-19 testing should be appropriately trained in Good Laboratory Practices and performing real-time PCR.
- The positive sales to be transported to ICMR-NIV.
- Appropriate biosafety and biosecurity precautions should be ensured while collecting samples from suspected coronavirus patients.
- Importantly, the National Task Force recommends the maximum cost of testing sample should not exceed Rs4500. But ICMR encourages free or subsidized testing in lieu of the national public health emergency.
Before testing can start, the labs must ensure real-time reporting of test results to ICMR HQ database.
Each lab will be provided a registration number by the ICMR.
Importantly, while the ICMR has encouraged labs to provide free or subsidised testing, the cost of tests cannot go beyond Rs 4500. This includes Rs 1500 for screening tests and Rs 3000 for confirmation tests.
(With inputs from PTI)
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