Posted in India
March 22, 2020

Govt allows private labs to conduct tests for Covid-19

On Saturday the central government proposed that the overall charge to private laboratories for each Covid-19 test should not exceed Rs 4,500.

In accordance with guidelines provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories notified by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday night, all private laboratories which have NABL accreditation for real-time PCR SA for RNA virus will be authorized to conduct COVID-19 testing.

The National Task Force recommends that the average test cost should not be greater than Rs 4,500. This could include Rs 1,500 as a criminal case screening check and an additional Rs 3,000 for confirmation check, the guidelines said. “In this hour of a national public health emergency, however, the ICMR supports free or subsidized research,” the Guidelines said.

An order released by the Union Ministry of Health said that failure to comply with the guidelines would result in legal action. The ICMR has called for adequate biosafety and biosecurity protocols to be taken when collecting respiratory samples from a patient according to the guidelines on sample collection and testing.

“Preferable home sample selection should be performed by all private laboratories to help prevent contact with suspicious cases during local travel to enter the laboratory,” claimed the notification.

Commercial kits for the real-time diagnosis of COVID-19 based on PCR should be authorised by the US FDA or accredited by the European CE, or both for the in vitro diagnosis of COVID-19 under emergency use, intimated by the Drug Controller General of India, the guidelines stated.

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