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Director-general ICMR (ANI )
Director-general ICMR (ANI )

ICMR in talks with private labs for COVID-19 testing

  • The ICMR, initial talks are underway with about 60 private laboratories to establish the testing facility for coronavirus
  • Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus as a pandemic

NEW DELHI : [India], Mar 17 (ANI): The Indian Council for Medical Research is contemplating to involve accredited private laboratories for engagement as coronavirus testing facilities in order to strengthen the diagnosis process for the disease.

As of now, only government laboratories are conducting the test for suspected COVID-19 samples from across India. The tests for COVID-19 are currently being done free-of-cost at government medical establishments.

According to officials at the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), initial talks are underway with about 60 private laboratories to establish the testing facility for coronavirus.

Speaking to ANI, Dr R Ganga Ketkar of ICMR said: "We are not averse to include the private sector. We have multiple safeguards in place. The discussions are on. Once it is done we will be proceeding to action. We are not averse to include the private sector in testing. However, we need to have multiple safeguard frames in place."

Currently, 63 laboratories (62 Viral Research Diagnostic Laboratories and 1 National Centre for Disease Control) are functioning to test COVID-19 and nine laboratories will start function shortly, stated the ICMR on Monday.

So far, India has confirmed 126 reported cases of COVID-19 and three people have lost their lives while being treated for the disease.

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus as a pandemic. Globally, over 1,45,000 confirmed cases have been reported and more than 5,400 people have lost their lives due to the disease. (ANI)

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