The NIV will approve the quality norms of private laboratories for testing swaps after every 6 months, whereas earlier it was done in every quarterly.
Mumbai: The Directorate of Health Service (DHS) has issued a letter to private laboratories asking them to conduct H1N1 (swine flu) tests that follow the National Institute of Virology (NIV) norms since there are only few government-run labs that are testing for H1N1 virus. A DHS official stated that the cost also would be capped, as private lab testing cannot charge exorbitant rates, so the poor can also detect the H1N1 virus in time.
The NIV will approve the quality norms of private laboratories for testing swaps after every six months, whereas earlier it was done in every quarterly. The reason cited was the overload of checking said the officials.
Dr Pradip Awate, the state’s surveillance officer and epidemiologist said, “The objective of this initiative is to ensure that people should get the results as early as possible, so that there won't be any delay for the H1N1 virus treatment.”
He added, “Earlier NIV lab few government approved private labs used to handle the tests, but now most of the private lab would be able to conduct the tests. Following the norms directed by DHS, we've been monitoring the charges which will also help in avoiding exploitation of patients."
Around 136 people have succumbed to the virus-induced complications in the state in the last four months as against six deaths during the same period last year. Over 1,440 people have been diagnosed with the infection in the state, while 1,507 people have been tested.
Currently, five government-run medical colleges, Pune-based NIV, Kasturba Hospital and Haffkine Institute in Mumbai, one government medical college in Akola and Amaravati each —have the swap testing facility in place. This move will augment the swine flu testing capacity in the public sector and help diagnose and treat patients in time.