Notices issued to 13 private labs in Hyderabad to rectify discrepancies

There are 23 private diagnostic laboratories that have received Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permission to conduct Covid-19 diagnostics.

By Author  |  Published: 4th Jul 2020  2:52 pmUpdated: 5th Jul 2020  12:30 am

Hyderabad: The State health authorities have served notices on 13 private laboratories in Hyderabad directing them to rectify data discrepancies and other deficiencies related to infrastructure and availability of trained manpower, which were pointed out during inspections by senior officials.

There are 23 private diagnostic laboratories that have received Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permission to conduct Covid-19 diagnostics. A majority of these private laboratories in Hyderabad had National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) certification that enabled ICMR to issue permission to take up Covid-19 tests.

“The positivity rate of Covid-19 tests in a particular private laboratory on Friday was around 70 per cent, which is not possible. Usually, the positivity rate for a typical government or private laboratory is around 20 per cent to 25 per cent. We suspect the test results could have been contaminated and that’s why we held back those results, which will be studied in detail by an expert committee and released,” Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, Dr. G Srinivas Rao said while interacting with media persons on Saturday.

Dr.Rao said several data discrepancies and defects were found during inspection of private laboratories.

“We have given ample time to these laboratories to rectify the defects. Already some have completed that process while some are in the process of rectification. We also want to make it clear if laboratories do not follow ICMR guidelines and do not correct discrepancies, then their recognition will be cancelled,” he said.

All the ten government laboratories involved in conducting Covid-19 testing through RTPCR method are now functioning to their maximum capacities. In the coming days, the number of tests in the ten laboratories will be enhanced to 6,500 per day.

Four more government laboratories including Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Adilabad, Government General Hospitals in Nizamabad, Suryapet, and Area Hospital in Gadwal have now received permission to conduct Covid-19 testing through CBNAAT machines, which are also utilised for TB diagnosis, Dr. Rao said.

‘No question of data fudging’

The entire process of collating data related to patients from government and private laboratories and hospitals is a dynamic process and the number of Covid-19 positive cases can change while releasing the health bulletin at the end of the day, Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivas Rao said here on Saturday.

“There is no question of either fudging or hiding data related to Covid-19 positive cases and even deaths. Right from day one, the health department has been transparent in sharing the information related to Covid-19 positive cases and fatalities,” Dr Rao said.

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