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Covid-19 Update: These 16 Private labs & Two Test Kits will Conduct Coronavirus Tests; Read ICMR DG Guidelines

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

The country’s apex biomedical research body, Indian Council of Medical Research has approved 10 more private laboratories. Though, ICMR did not increase its criteria for people to be able to take the test. Like earlier, people with a travel history or symptoms & people in direct contact with positive cases are eligible to give their samples. 

On the contrary, South Korea, has established drive-through tests, where samples are collected within minutes & people get their reports the next day. 

List of 10 Approved Private Laboratories to test Covid-19: 

  • Dr Lal PathLabs (Delhi) 

  • Dr Dangs Lab (Delhi) 

  • Indraprastha Apollo (Delhi) 

  • Department of Clinical Virology, CMC, Vellore, (Tamil Nadu) 

  • Department of Laboratory Services (Tamil Nadu) 

  • Apollo Hospitals (Chennai) 

  • Strand Life Sciences (Haryana) 

  • SRL Limited (Haryana) 

  • Supratech Micropath Laboratory (Gujarat) 

  • Research Institute (Gujarat)  

  • Apollo Hyderabad (Telangana) 

  • SRL Limited, 5 in Maharashtra (4 in Mumbai & 1 in Navi Mumbai) 

     

Thus, taking the number of labs to 16 that can begin collecting samples whenever they are ready.  Besides, 6 other private labs were approved by ICMR on Sunday. 

ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said, “Our experts are looking at the lab requests and giving approvals in batches. Till now, 12 private labs are approved that will increase the collection and testing capacity. These 12 lab chains put together have around 15,000 collection centres across India.”  

All these private labs have fulfilled ICMR conditions mandatory for private facilities to collect samples & test them. The conditions are National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories accreditation with real time Polymerase Chain Reaction testing for RNA virus and presence of all testing material, except the structure of the virus that ICMR will share. There will be real time reporting of the cases to the government through local surveillance units. 

Dr Naveen Dang, founder, Dr Dangs Lab, Delhi said, “We are given approval for testing. We will totally be following the ICMR guidelines; only those with prescription issued by a qualified doctor will be tested.”  

It is mandatory for private labs to register with ICMR so as to conduct the test for the disease. Adding to it, ICMR is also in the process of fast-tracking approvals for commercial testing kits. Dr Bhargava said, “Our nodal laboratory in National Institute of Virology in Pune is looking at the quality of kits, & has already approved two kits by Indian manufacturers. Besides, FDA- and European CE-approved kits, ICMR-certified kits will also be eligible to be used for testing in labs across India.”

Around 116 government laboratories which include 72 of ICMR’s own viral research and diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) have been earmarked by ICMR for Covid-19 testing. 31 government laboratories have been approved for both preliminary & confirmatory testing across India. 

Bhargava added, “Indiscriminate testing is not the solution. In fact the solution is in isolation to break the transmission cycle. Therefore, lockdown is an important step.”  

 

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