COVID-19: One more lab identified at K R Hospital for testing samples

Mysuru, Mar 13: A state-of-the-art viral research laboratory in the city has been identified as one of the testing laboratories for the detection of COVID-19, official sources said here on Friday.
The samples of suspected cases could be sent to the lab for analysis and it would take about three hours to get the results.
The Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL), which was set up from Central grants and functions at the Microbiology Department of K.R. Hospital, has been authorised to carry out the tests. This lab in Mysuru is among the 52-plus laboratories in the country.
Though the VRDL is equipped to carry out the tests, the sole authority of confirming the virus lies with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. VRDL is also the sole agency for collection and transportation of suspected samples of COVID-19 to NIV.
VRDL, which is part of the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, functions on the advise of NIV.
According to the guidelines issued by ICMR, the results of the tests done here have to be shared with NIV the same day and the labs are not supposed to disclose the results since the NIV is the only authority to declare positive cases. Also, confirmation from the NIV should be awaited in case the samples test negative for COVID-19. The ICMR, in the guidelines made available on its website, has advised clinicians at labs to isolate the patient tested positive for COVID-19 in the identified facility and follow bio-safety precautions.
VRDL is a part of a network of labs established by the Department of Health Research, Government of India. The rise in the number of viral outbreaks and the resultant mortality had been cited as key reasons for the launch of network of such hi-tech labs in the country.
The NIV and the National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, are the top laboratories for the network, while the National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, is the supervising authority for the data generated by the network of labs, sources added.

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