Homehealthcare News

Govt allows private labs to undertake Covid-19 tests

Govt allows private labs to undertake Covid-19 tests

Govt allows private labs to undertake Covid-19 tests
Profile image

By Archana Shukla  Mar 22, 2020 1:24:33 AM IST (Updated)

The ICMR notification said that the cost of the test should not exceed more than Rs 4,500.

In a move that allows NABL-accredited private laboratories to start testing COVID-19 samples, the government issued guidelines, capping the cost of sample testing by private labs at Rs 4,500.

Recommended Articles

View All

The guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, affiliated with the Ministry of health, lays down the rules for sample collection, testing, reporting and sample storage and destruction.
The National task Force has recommended the maximum cost for COVID-19 samples testing at private labs at Rs 4,500. "This may include Rs 1500 for a screening test for suspect cases and an additional Rs 3,000 as confirmation test charges," the notification said.
While capping the price, ICMR also encouraged private labs to conduct ‘free or subsidized testing in this hour of national public health emergency’.
Sources said more than 50 private laboratories have submitted their requests to the government to allow them to start tests for COVID-19.
The government is yet to release the list of authorised private laboratories.
"Preferably home collection of samples may be done by private labs to avoid suspect cases to be coming in contact with other people," the notification said.
The guidelines recommended only real-time PCR-based assays for COVID-19 testing. They added conventional PCR, in-house real-time PCR and antibody/antigen tests are not recommended.
The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test recommended by ICMR is performed on  swab samples from the inside of the throat or nose, a nasal or tracheal aspirate solution, sputum or blood samples.
The time taken to test samples has come down to 4.5 hours with the real-time PCRs. Overall, it may take over 24 hours or less from time the samples are collected to when the report is delivered.
With rapid kits now being approved, like the one by Roche Diagnostics, the time to conduct and report test results could come down to under 5 hours, thus allowing faster turnaround and larger number of samples tested.
The authorised private laboratories will also be sending all COVID-19 positive samples to NIV, Pune, under suitable biosafety and biosecurity precautions laid down by ICMR.
Negative samples will be destroyed within a week of collection.
A total of 111 government labs across the country are currently carrying out COVID-19 testing, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said on March 21.
India has reported 283 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 4 fatalities and 22 recoveries.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!

Most Read

Market Movers

View All
Top GainersTop Losers