At least two leading private diagnostic chains on Sunday said that they got the final go-ahead from the government to start COVID-19 testing.
They would start collecting samples for testing from today. For starters, this would happen in Mumbai. Thyrocare and Metropolis Healthcare both got the final clearance from the government to go ahead with the testing.
A Velumani, chairman of Thyrocare said “We got permission. We will start testing from tomorrow.” Similarly, Metropolis' Sushil Shah too confirmed that they would start testing.
As the country’s apex health research body now decided to relax norms for patients to avail the diagnostic testing for the novel coronavirus, the private sector diagnostic players were awaiting a formal approval from government. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday said that all hospitalised patients who have pneumonia or severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) will not be tested for COVID-19. SARI patients would have high fever, cough and shortness of breath as major symptoms.
ICMR has also noted that anyone who has come in contact with a COVID-19 positive case should also be tested even if they do not show any symptoms. So far India was testing people who had recently travelled abroad and subsequently showed symptoms, and people who had come in contact with these people and showed symptoms of COVID-19 . The testing guidelines are reviewed from time to time.