Odisha allows private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests

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In a bid to augment the testing facilities, the Odisha government on Saturday allowed private hospitals, nursing homes and laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests through Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR methods, a notification issued by the health and family welfare department said.

The department issued a separate set of guidelines for conducting sample tests both under Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR.

The private health establishments have to abide by the ICMR norms.

The sample test results should first be informed to the State authorities before being released to the person whose test was conducted, the notification said.

For Rapid Antigen tests, the private bodies can charge a maximum of ₹ 450 while the price for RT-PCR tests is fixed at ₹ 2,200 per test. The nursing homes, hospitals and laboratories should be mandatorily registered under the Odisha Clinical Establishment (control & regulation) Act, 1990.

The manpower to be deployed for the purpose must be trained properly in consultation with the chief district medical and public health officers, the notification said.

“The result of testing shall be intimated to the authorities of the State in the first instance and the person concerned shall be intimated subsequently after 24 hours,” it said.

For conducting RT-PCT tests, the private testing laboratories must be accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).

Odisha has so far conducted 5,28,708 sample tests of which 33,479 are found COVID-19 positive.

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