ICMR asks states to encourage pvt labs for NABL accreditation to ensure quality COVID-19 testing

NewsBharati    04-Jul-2020
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New Delhi, July 4: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has written to states and Union Territories saying all private laboratories in their areas which intend to initiate TrueNat and CBNAAT based tests for COVID-19 be encouraged to apply for NABL accreditation to ensure quality testing.

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In a letter, Additional Director General of ICMR Dr G S Toteja said, many of the labs are doing this test for the first time and in view of this, it is prudent to comply with NABL norms and obtain accreditation of private labs. The letter stated that ICMR, so far, has included a mandatory criterion for obtaining National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) acreditation for all COVID-19 testing private laboratories, including those with TrueNat and CBNAAT platforms. The letter said, this is primarily to ensure quality testing and ensure correct interpretation of test results.
 
ln view of this, it is prudent to comply with NABL norms and obtain accreditation of private labs.It said, this will also help in improving the overall quality of private labs in states. Dr Toteja emphasised that in the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis, NABL has established an expedited approval mechanism with fast-track approval being granted within seven days. However, the need to augment testing for COVID-19 in the current situation is well understood. ICMR is committed to support all states in ramping up testing.
 
All the labs which have applied can reach out to the ICMR with a copy of their NABL application.The ICMR will provide expedited approval for TrueNat and CBNAAT subject to NABL approval, which can be submitted within a maximum time span of four weeks from the date of approval.