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Coronavirus test: Testing in private labs and how doctors are ensuring safety for COVID-19 tests

FE Online
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Private labs in India are now testing COVID-19 samples! With the number of positive Coronavirus cases increasing significantly in India, private labs are starting to test the samples for COVID-19. Around 22 private laboratories will be helping the government in testing patients. These laboratories include those of Indraprastha Apollo, Dr Dangs and Dr Lal PathLabs. Among these Dr Lal PathLabs have received approval for one of its labs in Delhi and another one, which is in Kolkata, is in the approval process. Both of these labs have the ability to perform 1,500 tests. The phlebotomists are adhering to proper protocol as directed in the government testing labs. IE has reported how the process and quality checks have been put in place. It is to note that phlebotomists are those who are trained in drawing blood from patients, mainly for medical or clinical testings.

Steps that private phlebotomists take before testing

  • Sanitizing oneself is the first step.
  • Wear protective gear in an area that is specifically designed for it.
  • Putting on shoe covers that tucks in the trousers.
  • Wearing a hazmat suit along with a face mask, goggles and gloves.
  • It is after taking all the measures, the swab from the throat and nose is taken.
  • Once the sample is taken it is stored in the box.
  • After exiting the area, all the protective gear is sealed in another kit and is destroyed.

According to a report by IE, around 300 people are working in diagnostic chains in India and are being trained for situations like these. They are being readied for collecting more samples from across people's homes or hospitals. The report, citing Dr Lal PathLabs said that the laboratory has started its operations and is conducting tests for the novel Coronavirus.

The report added that the company has qualified people that are ready to be deployed. The initial and confirmatory tests can cost a person Rs 4,500. However, it is currently done majorly in Delhi as due to lockdown freight movements are restricted. The labs are expected to deliver reports in 48 hours.