The Delhi government has issued notices and initiated action against several private and government labs for allegedly flouting the ICMR guidelines for testing. At least six laboratories have been asked to explain alleged delays in test results.
The move comes on a day when the Delhi government issued a new testing guidelines for hospitals and ICMR-approved labs. “The ICMR has prescribed certain guidelines for testing and some of them were not following it. All labs are supposed to send the reports in 48 hours and these labs were not sharing the results on time,” said a Delhi government spokesperson.
Labs that have been issued notices include Prognosis, Sir Ganga Ram lab, SRL reference lab at Fortis hospital, City X-ray and Scan Clinic, and the lab at National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to sources, officials from the health department also directed CDMOs through district administration not to send any samples to these labs.
“We have sent a reply… NCDC is not collecting samples. We are following all protocols suggested by ICMR,” said Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, director of NCDC.
Sources at Sir Ganga Ram hospital also said a reply has been sent to the Delhi government. Another private lab owner who received the notice said, “We have been told not to perform any testing. We are now trying to give out results of samples already in.”
Fortis was unavailable for comment while City X-ray and Scan Clinic said they haven’t received any notice yet.
Earlier, the government had issued an order to constitute an inquiry committee to look into alleged discrepancies in reports of Dr Lal Path Labs.
Senior officials in the government said the pendency rate of a few labs has increased over the last few days. The issue of delayed reports was also raised by health officials in a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal Tuesday. The L-G also directed that due action as per law be taken.
“Getting results on time plays an important role in containing the disease. The authorities have to be alerted to start contact tracing,” said a senior official from the health department.
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