Previously, one private diagnostic laboratory in Chandigarh, SRL lab in Sector 11, was identified as a potential laboratory on a list circulated by FICCI.
Though many private diagnostic laboratories have been approved by the government to test samples for COVID-19 across India, a spokesperson for the health department stated that no such plans for approving a private lab for COVID-19 testing in the city are in the pipeline.
As of now, samples are tested for COVID-19 at PGIMER and GMCH-32. A total of 1,067 samples have been tested in their laboratories. Out of these, 183 samples were collected from Chandigarh residents, and the rest from the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Both PGIMER and GMCH-32 have the testing capacity for at least 70 samples per day. Despite government-run laboratories being approved for testing in all states, PGIMER continues to receive a slew of samples from the neighbouring states every day. For example, the institute received a total of 76 samples on Sunday, most from outside of the UT.
New testing centres
Previously, one private diagnostic laboratory in Chandigarh, SRL lab in Sector 11, was identified as a potential laboratory on a list circulated by FICCI. However, the laboratory delayed testing due to a delay in supply of essential testing material such as reagents. Furthermore, a representative from the lab in Sector 11 stated that even if they begin testing in Chandigarh, they will only collect samples and send it across to their laboratory in Gurugram for the procedure.
Recently, ICMR also approved Institute for Microbial Technology (IMTECH) for testing but it is yet to start. “IMTECH has the infrastructure and reagent supply to test at least 50 to 100 samples per day, and the capacity for testing can be increased if need be,” said a public relations officer from IMTECH. The institute is waiting for PGIMER to send some samples their way.
No rapid testing
As of now, there is no door-to-door testing or sample collection in the UT, nor are there plans to use rapid testing kits. A source from the health department said this is done only in disease clusters, where a particular geographical location is identified as a cluster for the disease.