The health department has decided to allow private laboratories in the city to test H1N1 samples, subject to certain approvals, officials said on Monday. The health department took the decision after the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of the Union health ministry has issued some recommendations to the states about the increasing number of seasonal influenza (H1N1) cases across the country.
At present, the H1N1 testing is being done in Chandigarh only at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research and Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.
“There are no restrictions from government of India to identify hospitals in private sector to undertake patients care or private laboratories to test samples for seasonal influenza in case they are following standard procedures, however NCDC can provide support for the labs in terms of quality assurance,” reads the communication sent by the NCDC.
On Monday, the UT health officials said they would consider allowing the private labs to test H1N1 samples, only after they complete certain formalities. “There are certain norms which are to be followed. We will allow any private lab to test the samples, only after the inspection from the health department…the costs of the tests would also be decided by the health department,” said Dr Gaurav Aggarwal, anti-malaria officer told Chandigarh Newsline on Monday.
The NCDC communication also asked the states to consider monitoring the prices of influenza lab tests and even consider fixing a ceiling of process to be charges for the city.
According to the Union health ministry, the country is witnessing an upsurge in number of seasonal Influenza cases and deaths as compared to previous years. As on September 17 this year, according to the Union health ministry figures 34,009 cases and 1,714 deaths have been reported because of seasonal influence in the country.
In Chandigarh, the Union health ministry stats revealed that till September 17, there were 59 cases and six deaths owing to influenza.
The communication mentions the delayed initiation of Tami flu reason of the deaths across the country
“One of the observations during the central team’s visits to the states was delayed initiation of Oseltamvir to the cases as of the causes for increase in then number of deaths due to seasonal influenza,” it said.