Conducting diagnostic tests for confirmation of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 was so far constrained within the range of State-run laboratories in Hyderabad. In the near future, nonetheless, this scenario will significantly change with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issuing approval to eight private laboratories in Hyderabad to conduct Covid-19 tests.
ICMR permitted private laboratories to begin diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and framed certain guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for collection of samples, packaging and transportation. While the State health authorities are yet to release local guidelines to the private laboratories.
The eight laboratories that are legally permitted to conduct the coronavirus tests include Apollo Health Sciences and Lifestyle Ltd, Bowenpally, American Institute of Pathology and laboratory Pvt Ltd, Nallagandla, Dr. Remedies Labs Private Limited, Hyderabad, Laboratory Services Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, Medcis Pathlabs India Pvt.Ltd., Bowenpally, Pathcare Labs Pvt Ltd., Keesara, Vijaya Diagnostics and Vimta Labs. These labs are instructed to report all the data to ministry of health and family welfare (MHFW) and local state government.
All the private labs are found to charge up to Rs 4,500 for a single test while the State-run laboratories are expected to conduct tests at a free cost. The laboratory at NIMS, which is a quasi-Government institution, would charge 30 per cent to 40 per cent, which is way below the limit of Rs. 4,500 set by the Central regulatory authorities.
Who should get tested?
** Any person with dry cough, fever, body aches and diarrhoea
** Any individual who is diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) or influenza like illness
** People with a travel history to any foreign country or Covid-19 effected countries in the past 14 days prior to symptoms onset
** Those living in the same household with a confirmed case
** Disease in health worker working in the environment of SARI patients
** Sudden or unexpected deterioration of health after treatment