Roche Diagnostics India gets license for conducting coronavirus tests day after ICMR issues guidelines for private labs

Roche Diagnostics India has become the first private firm to get permission for testing for coronavirus after the government decided to allow accredited private labs to do so.

FP Staff March 18, 2020 18:22:48 IST
Roche Diagnostics India gets license for conducting coronavirus tests day after ICMR issues guidelines for private labs

Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India received the licence for conducting coronavirus tests after approval from drug regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), making it the first private firm to get such permission after the government decided to allow NABL-accredited private labs to test for COVID-19.

According to a senior official, the DCGI is now assessing giving licence to another private diagnostic firm, bioMérieux, which has also sought approval to conduct tests for coronavirus.

Roche Diagnostics India gets license for conducting coronavirus tests day after ICMR issues guidelines for private labs

A volunteer sprays disinfectants inside a Delhi bus in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PTI

The official said two Indian diagnostic companies — Trivitron Healthcare and Mylab Discovery Solution — have also sought approval from the DCGI for the coronavirus testing kits developed by them.

The Union health ministry had on Tuesday issued guidelines for private sector laboratories intending to initiate COVID-19 testing while appealing them to conduct the tests free of cost.

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According to a News18 report, 11,500 samples have been tested in the country so far. The Indian Council of Medical Research's network of labs, including the Pune-based National Institute of Virology, can test up to 8,000 samples per day, the report added.

World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had stressed upon the importance of testing for COVID-19 in a press conference on Monday.

"We have seen a rapid escalation in social distancing measures, like closing schools and cancelling sporting events and other gatherings. But we haven't seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the COVID-19 response," he had said.

With inputs from PTI

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