Religare, Dr Lal’s pathology, Auroprobe and Dang’s are the four new laboratories in the private sector selected by the government to conduct RNA testing in New Delhi for the swine flu causing H1N1 influenza A virus.
These private labs in New Delhi have been inspected as additional testing centres by a six-member NICD team to see the facilities and their preparedness to follow the real-time PCR system and the required bio safety level two. The labs should also have a separate collection area. After these checks, fresh samples sent to these labs.
Super Religare Laboratories
Super Religare Laboratories Ltd.
6, Devika Tower,
New Delhi – 110 019
Tel: 011 – 4229 5222
Fax: 011 – 4180 2121
Dr Lal’s Pathology Labs
Dr. Lal PathLabs Pvt Ltd ‘ESKAY HOUSE’
54, Hanuman Road, New Delhi – 110 001
Ph: 91-11-2374 6426
Fax: 91-11-2334 1638
Dr.Lal PathLabs Pvt Ltd
X-3 Okhla Industrial Area Phase II
New Delhi -110 020
Ph: 91-11-2861 1079
91-11- 2496 3860
91-11- 2638 3595
Fax: 91-11-2638 6249
C-229, Defence Colony,
Phone – +91-11 – 24332757, 24336558
Dr Dang’s Lab
Medical Diagnostic Centre
Timings: 8.00 am to 12.30pm & 4.30pm to 6.00pm
Address: D1, Hauz Khas
New Delhi – 110016, India
Tel : 410 44445, 9899220533, 2686 8929
Fax : 4165 6975
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.drdangslab.com
Currently, RNA test for H1N1 are being conducted by 18 government testing labs including National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), in Delhi.NIV and NICD are handling the bulk of RNA testing for H1N1 virus strain.
Private labs are being roped in (contrary to the government’s earlier stand that private laboratories may not even be allowed to collect samples themselves for conducting tests) to ease the mounting backlog of test samples, it is learnt.
Number of samples sent for testing to NICD has gone up by 400 per cent in the last week. It takes at least 72 hours for government-identified labs to deliver the test reports. Long queues and limited manpower have made H1N1 tests even more difficult, reports say.
However, unlike the free testing at government-run labs, the private labs are charging a handsome amount for H1N1 PCR tests. In private laboratories H1N1 testing is expected to cost around Rs 10,000.
“It will cost approximately Rs 10,000. And it is mostly because of the raw material that is being used,” according to Dr Navin Dang of Dr Dang’s lab at Hauz Khas, New Delhi.
Private labs explains that the reagents and equipment used for H1N1 PCR test themselves are very expensive. The cost of sample collection kits that has the proper swabs varies from anywhere between Rs 500-1,000 per sample. Once samples have reached the lab, the RNA has to be extracted from the virus. This cost varies from Rs 500 to 1,000 per sample. *
Then is the cost of real-time PCR to test for five different types of strains with five different chemicals or reagents at Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000. The equipment required itself to carry out these tests costs about Rs 2 crore.
The high cost of H1N1 testing is generally attributed to test kits which need to be imported from overseas.
As of now, the government is paying these labs for testing the samples. The government reportedly spends nearly Rs.10,000 for testing a swine flu patient’s sample.
Religare of Gurgaon says it can offer each H1N1 PCR testing at least at a Rs 1000 less. “We are also trying to make sure that patients do not need to queue outside our lab. If they call us, we can arrange for sample collection from home,” said Dr Shok Rattan, Director, Clinical Reference and NCR Labs, Religare.
Meanwhile, a private diagnostic network Super Religare Laboratories (SRL) came up with a claim that it is ready to conduct swine flu tests at Rs.4,000. Super Religare is fully prepared for the screening of H1N1 in all our laboratories in the country. “We have adequate amount of testing kits available with us with a team of renowned doctors at both Mumbai and Gurgaon,” stated Sanjeev K. Chaudhry, chief executive of Super Religare Laboratories.
Private labs were informed about the guidelines to be followed while conducting the tests, how to handle the transportation of samples, how to wear the mask, the goggles, the cap and other logistics relating to testing samples for swine flu.