Harsh Vardhan Announces Opening 19 More Labs to Test COVID-19
How do the labs test for coronavirus?
At a press conference on Wednesday, 4 March, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan relayed information about the novel coronavirus in India.
Currently, India has 15 functional labs to test the virus, but “19 more will be made operational soon,” said Dr Vardhan.
The process for confirming a case follows a few steps: first, the suspected patient is tested either at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s laboratories at Alappuzha, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai, report Economic Times.
If their sample tests positive, it is then tested again at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. The labs in the country are all under the guidance of NIV.
Often, the sample is tested twice at the first lab itself if there are inconsistencies or a lack of clarity, For example, the confirmed case in Jaipur of the Italian national first tested positive and then negative so the sample was sent to NIV for confirmation.
The sample sent is usually nasal and throat swabs and the test for confirmation takes at least 12-24 hours.
‘Scientists Sent to Iran to Set Up Lab’: Harsh Vardhan
Dr Vardhan added that 4 scientits will go to Iran today with medical equipment to set up a mobile lab there and help the suspected patients.
The aim is to “bring back Indian citizens from Iran after a thorough screening,” he said.
(With inputs from Economic Times)
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