Private pathological laboratories will soon start testing samples of suspected swine flu cases from next week as government conducted an orientation programs for six laboratories on Friday apprising them of the guidelines for conducting the tests.
Officials from National Institute of Communicable Diseases and Ministry of Health told the private labs, which have been shortlisted to conduct the tests, about the guidelines to be followed while conducting the tests, handling the samples and other logistics.
Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said "in a matter of few days we will be able to tell the labs that have been recognised to carry out the tests. We have already started the process. NICD needs to be unburdened with the load of samples sooner."
Representatives from six private labs Super Religare labroataries, Lal Path Labs, Quest diagnostic, Piramal Diagnostic, Auroprobe Laborataries and Era Health were present in the orientation programme.
"We hope that we will be given the samples today as part of proficiency testing", Dr Ashok Rattan, advisor Super Religare labroataries, said. Rattan said "if permitted, we will charge Rs 4,000 per test."
The Union Health Ministry is bearing an expendiutre of Rs 10,000 per test, which is not passed to the people coming for tests.
Meanwhile, 13 positive cases were reported in Delhi on Friday of which eight are school children, thus pushing the total to 343.
"Of these 300 have already recovered. Till now, 48 are admitted in hospitals and 13 tested positive while the results of 37 are awaited," Walia said.