Bhubaneswar: The State government on Thursday issued a stricter set of guidelines for Covid-19 testing by private laboratories. In a letter to all district collectors, municipal commissioners, CDMs and PHOs, Additional Chief Secretary of Health Department, PK Mohapatra has asked the authorities to ensure that private laboratories should follow the stipulations fixed by the government without fail.
Labs found deviating from the guidelines issued by the government will be seriously viewed and may attract penal provisions under the Odisha Clinical Establishment (Control and Regulation) Act.
The Health Department has expressed concerns that some private labs are collecting swabs from residence of the suspected Covid cases to conduct RT-PCR tests and collecting high charges. There are also reports about non-submission of reports in time.
The government has listed out the following guidelines for Covid testing by private laboratories:-
1. The authorized PHLEBOTOMIST 1 LT of the laboratories accredited by ICMR and permitted by the state can collect swabs from the residence abiding by all guidelines. The labs will share the list of authorized persons with the District Administration & Municipal Commissioner / Collector.
2. The accredited labs can't give the franchise to any other lab to collect swab samples on its behalf.
3. The labs must inform the District Administration / Municipal Commissioner about transportation of swab samples collected by it to other Districts.
4. The responsibility of providing PPE kits, gloves, Mask. Goggles, etc. to the Phlebotomist / LT lies with the laboratory. The labs can't charge extra for this.
5. The labs are responsible for the disposal of the waste as per the BMW rules.
6. The laboratories must upload the results in the ICMR portal and share them with the IDSP cell and local authorities before informing the results to the persons found to be COVID positive.
7. The labs can charge as per the rate fixed by the Government for RT-PCR test from time to time. No extra service charges can be collected from the patient.
8. The rate chart should be prominently displayed in the lab premises and any promotional literature/advertisement etc.