New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) As many as 121 government laboratories have been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research to conduct tests for deadly novel coronavirus, the ICMR said on its website on Friday.
In addition, there are 35 private labs across the country for conducting the tests.
These are in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Jharkhand.
Now, the total number of facilities for cornavirus testing has increased to 157, both private and government.
“The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune functions as the resource centre for the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDL) network and is responsible for providing technical training for performing molecular and serological assays for virological diagnosis. NIV, Pune also performs the important task of standardizing assay procedures for the network as well as quality control and quality assurance activities,” said the ICMR.
The World Health Organisation has stressed upon testing during the coronavirus outbreak across the world.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal had said: “There are 29 private laboratory chains, accredited by the ICMR, for conducting tests for novel coronavirus. These labs have 16,000 collection centres across the country, where at least 12,000 tests can be conducted per day.”
Agarwal said that the private labs will have to follow ICMR norms while testing.
According to the ICMR norms, criteria for testing includes symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, dyspnea etc or that individuals have returned from affected countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy etc.
The critiria also includes close contacts of confirmed positive cases of corona infection, individuals evacuated and quarantined from Wuhan, China and Diamond Princess ship, Japan and other coronavirus-affected countries.