STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Centre lays down norms for COVID-19 testing in private labs, fixes a price cap of Rs 4500 per test

The ministry has also made it clear that labs can only test people as per the testing protocol laid down by the ICMR.

Published: 22nd March 2020 12:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2020 12:35 AM   |  A+A-

Passengers wearing protective masks travel in a crowded Gorakhpur bound train amid worldwide coronavirus scare at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai

Passengers wearing protective masks travel in a crowded Gorakhpur bound train amid worldwide coronavirus scare at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai. (Photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday notified norms under which private diagnostic labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration laboratories will be allowed to carry out tests for coronavirus fixing an upper cap of Rs 4,500 per test.

"The national task force recommends that the maximum cost for testing sample should not exceed Rs 4,500. This may include Rs 1,500 as a screening test for suspect cases and an additional Rs 3,000 for confirmation test," the notification said.

However, the notification said that the Indian Council for Medical Research encourages free or subsidized testing in this hour of national public health emergency. The move will enable around 40 private labs to test for the infection across the country. At present nearly public sector 110 labs under the ICMR and government are equipped to test for the infection. 

The guidelines by the ICMR that were notified by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare also said that all samples from suspected patients should preferably be collected from home by labs that have NABL accreditation for real time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay for RNA virus.

The government also laid down rules for reporting and sample storage and destruction emphasizing that every positive sample should be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune following strict bio-safety and biosecurity precautions.

The ministry has also made it clear that labs can only test people as per the testing protocol laid down by the ICMR.

As of now, the ICMR is allowing symptomatic people with international travel history, their close contacts with symptoms, health workers treating COVID 19 patients with symptoms and asymptomatic persons who have been close contacts of infected patients to get tested within 5-14 days of last contact. However, the government has been constantly revising the testing protocol as per the changing scenario.

The notification also said that any individual can get the test done only on prescription of a registered doctor, by providing government ID proof with address and contact details and in case of a positive result, the details have to be shared with the ICMR and the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme immediately.

It also added that commercial kits for real time PCR based diagnosis of COVID-19 should be USA FDA approved or European CE certified.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp