The Delhi government has identified three private laboratories to test for H1N1.
It has asked Apollo Hospitals, Dr Lal Pathlabs and Dr Dang's Medical Diagnostic Centre to conduct tests for the H1N1 virus.
They will begin testing in a week, the time needed
to acquire the kits for testing H1N1.
On Wednesday, a team from the National Centre for Disease Control and Delhi's department of health inspected the laboratories to confirm they can conduct these highly sophisticated tests.
“These labs will also take at least one week to conduct these tests as they need the reagents and kits to start work,” said a health ministry official.
Till now, three government labs — the NCDC, AIIMS and Patel Chest Institute — have been identified for testing, but the high number of samples coming to Delhi from around the country are delaying results by two to three days.
Test result time has increased to a minimum of two days, at times taking up to four days.
“The sample size is more than what three labs can handle together. They cannot do more than 230 tests a day and the numbers we get are at least five times higher,” said an official from the department of health, Delhi.
“We were testing about 80-100 samples daily, until last week but now we have increased our capacity to 150-180,” said an NCDC official.
Dr Shobha Broor, professor in the department of microbiology at AIIMS said they received 30 samples from NCDC daily apart from 5-6 samples from AIIMS.