Healthcare stocks including Dr Lal Path Labs, and Thyrocare Technologies soared as much as 17.7 on the BSE on Monday, in an otherwise weak market, after the government allowed private laboritories to conduct blood tests for the coronavirus (Covid-19).
According to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research over the weekend, all private laboratories that have National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories accreditation for real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for RNA virus will only be allowed to conduct Covid-19 tests.
Individually, Thyrocare Technologies rebounded 17.15 per cent from the day's low to hit a high of Rs 574 in the intra-day trade. Besides, Dr Lal Path Labs jumped 17 per cent to Rs 1,650 per share, Ipca Labs zoomed 17.7 per cent, and Metropolis Healthcare gained 6.43 per cent.
On Saturday, the ICMR issued guidelines stipulated that all commercial kits for real time PCR-based diagnosis of Covid-19 should be either US Food and Drug Administration approved or should meetEuropean certification standards, or both. It also said that all Covid-19 positive samples will need to be transported to ICMR's National Institute for Virology, Pune under suitable biosafety and biosecurity precautions. Failure to comply with any of the guidelines could lead to legal action, the guidelines added.
That apart, national laboratories have also been allowed to carry out clinical testing of Covid-19, as the number of cases went past 400 in India.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 415 on Monday, with 15 more people testing positive in Maharashtra. The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in India rose to seven on Sunday.
According to Union health ministry data, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 89, followed by Kerala at 52. Delhi has reported 30 positive cases, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 27 cases. Telangana has reported 22 cases, Rajasthan 24, and Karnataka 26 coronavirus patients.