MUMBAI: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday gave its nod to four private laboratories from Mumbai, including Thyrocare, Suburban Diagnostics, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd Mumbai and H N Reliance Foundation Hospital, to start testing for coronavirus. The four laboratories are likely to start the tests over the next two to three days.
It is said another 16 private laboratories are awaiting the ICMR’s nod to start conducting tests.
Currently, only Kasturba Hospital and KEM Hospital are carrying out the tests, which are being offered for free. The state soon plans to scale up and add more machines to the testing facilities of these hospitals.
In addition, labs are being readied at JJ Hospital in Byculla and Haffkine Institute in Parel to start testing.
A BMC official said that at least 20 laboratories had applied to the ICMR to start testing coronavirus samples. Of these, four have got the approval, while the applications of the rest, including that from leading hospitals like PD Hinduja, are being considered. The ICMR has capped the testing charges at Rs 4,500 for now and has asked them to focus more on testing asymptomatic patients. It has also modified the testing criteria to add healthcare workers and serious patients admitted with respiratory ailments even if they don’t have a travel history.
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