Coronavirus Maharashtra: IMA seeks permission to allow private labs to conduct rapid antigen testing

Chaitraly Deshmukh
Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Government of Maharashtra has decided to conduct corona rapid antigen testing. At present this test is being carried only by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) based government laboratories.

Pune: The Government of Maharashtra has decided to conduct corona rapid antigen testing. At present this test is being carried only by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) based government laboratories. Acting on the similar lines, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded its pleas before the Maharashtra state government to permit private laboratories to conduct such test on immediate bases, considering the alarming incidences of coronavirus.

The Maharashtra state has taken the decision to implement South Korea's S.D company's rapid antigen testing of the coronavirus with the 'Standard Q Covid-19 AG-Detection Kit' made by the biosensor. These tests are been performed in addition to the RT-PCR tests used till date. Reports of these tests are received within 30 minutes and with the affordable fees of Rs 450. At present, these tests are being used in government and municipal hospitals in Mumbai, Pune, and some important hotspots of the outbreak.

Private laboratories are also allowed to take and conduct these tests, according to which private laboratories were asked to send their applications to the e-mail address addressing their grievances and their vital role to reach maximum patients.

Many pathologists with postgraduate studies in pathology and microbiology have been registered with Maharashtra medical council. However, these laboratories were denied permission to conduct the test. According to the ICMR guidelines, private labs should not be allowed unless they are approved by NABL.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Avinash Bhondwe, President, IMA, Maharashtra said, "There are only 48 NABL accredited laboratories in Maharashtra and they are mainly in metro cities. While there are around 5,000 private such pathologists and microbiologists with the postgraduate qualifications in pathology as well as microbiology which are registered under the Maharashtra medical council. These laboratories are available in the corners of Maharashtra, small and big cities as well as in the taluka. So they should be allowed and permitted."

Edited by: Pranav Jalan

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