Wed, 25 Nov 2020

By Priyanka SharmaNew Delhi [India], Apr 3 (ANI): In a significant development related to the COVID19 diagnosis, now laboratories under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) can also conduct the testing to detect the virus, as approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research on Thursday.

However, the apex medical research body has strictly advised DBT, DST, CSIR and DAE laboratories to follow the ICMR guidelines before initiation of COVID19 testing. Also, ICMR will not provide diagnostic kits/ reagents to these laboratories.

The ICMR official said: "Since these research institutes are of eminence under other research organizations, ICMR will not conduct any site assessment not accord approval for initiation of testing at these laboratories. Secretary to the government of India, the concerned departments may accord approval for initiation of testing as deemed appropriate."SARS-CoV-2 Is a high-risk pathogen with high transmissibility and infectivity. Hence, sample handling should be done by trained staff to avoid spills and laboratory outbreaks, said ICMR official.

"These laboratories have to fulfill key criteria set by ICMR. It includes the availability of BSL-2 level laboratory facilities including molecular biology set up for virological diagnostic. It should have a functioning and calibrated bio-safety cabinet type 2A/2B in the laboratory along with cold centrifuge/microfuge for RNA extraction.""The laboratory test should be only offered when the sample is referred by the state health official or state IDSP. A functional and calibrated real-time PCR machine is must with trained staff to handle respiratory samples. They should also have a good understanding of laboratory biosafety and biosecurity.""Well-defined arrangement for segregation and discarding of biomedical waste should be placed," informed the official.

Testing laboratories should also ensure immediate/real-time reporting to the state officials of IDSP for timely initiation of contract tracing. A robust institutional policy on biomedical waste management of human origin should be followed. (ANI)

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