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Private labs to soon scale up COVID-19 testing 

As part of efforts to ramp up testing centres across the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research put out a list of private labs authorised to do testing for the COVID-19.

Published: 24th March 2020 09:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2020 09:40 PM   |  A+A-

People throng supermarkets in Chennai as state lockdown begins on Tesday evening. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Private diagnostic players, who have been allowed to conduct coronavirus tests, on Tuesday said they will soon scale up their testing facilities for COVID-19.

As part of efforts to ramp up testing centres across the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) put out a list of private labs authorised to do testing for the COVID-19.

"We will start testing 100 samples per day in our Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Bengaluru from tomorrow and will scale up the number subsequently in the next few days," Neuberg Diagnostics Chairman and managing director GSK Velu said in a statement.

As part of the ramping up of COVID-19 testing centres across the country by the government, Neuberg has been selected and received approval from ICMR to test COVID-19 samples in its Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Bengaluru, he added.

"We had applied for the COVID testing approval for our own and associate NABL accredited labs in eight cities and we will soon get the approval in the rest of the 7 cities viz: Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata," Velu said.

  On the development, Dr Lal PathLabs CEO and whole-time director Om Manchanda told PTI, "Our main lab in Rohini, Delhi has been selected for testing.

Currently, we are in the process of ordering kits. Once the vendors are in a position to supply larger quantity then only large scale testing can start. Though we have started collecting samples but we have only very few kits in stock as of now."

In a regulatory filing, Metropolis Healthcare said, " ICMR, vide its notification dated March 23, 2020, has empanelled the company's global reference lab at...Vikhroli, Mumbai for COVID-19 testing." 

The Centre on Saturday issued guidelines recommending that maximum rate for coronavirus tests by private laboratories should not be more than Rs 4,500 while appealing for free or subsidised testing in this hour of national public health emergency.

The ICMR guidelines recommended 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.

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