TS Govt not allowing private labs to conduct COVID-19 test: Cong

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy has strongly condemned Telangana Government for not allowing private laboratories in the State to conduct diagnostic tests for confirmation of the novel coronavirus.

Narayana Reddy, in a media statement on Monday, said that the the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved nine private laboratories in Hyderabad to conduct Coronavirus tests. They are Laboratory Services Apollo Hospitals, Vijaya Diagnostic Centre, Vimta Labs, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd, Dr. Remedies Labs, Pathcare Labs, American Institute of Pathology and Laboratory Sciences, Medcis Pathlabs India, and Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yashoda Hospital.

The ICMR has already framed guidelines Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for collection of samples, packaging and transportation. Although the approval was granted a week ago, the State Government did not frame the mandatory local guidelines to facilitate the private labs from conducting COVID-19 tests.

“Telangana is going too slow in conducting Coronavirus test. Not even 10% of the suspects are being tested for the disease which increases the risk of its spread,” he said. To substantiate his claim, he said Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan has shared some important details during her interaction with President of India Ramnath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on April 3.

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The Governor has informed that there were 26,586 persons in Telangana with the history of foreign travel and their contacts who were kept under home quarantine. She had also informed that so far, 2400 samples were tested.

The Congress leader accused the Telangana Government of not sharing details on samples tested. However, he said those statistics were revealed through a press release sent by the Raj Bhavan. “By going slow in conducting COVID-19 tests, Telangana Government is committing the same mistake committed by the Italy, Spain and United States of America who conducted tests only for people with symptoms and witnessed huge number of cases and deaths.

However, some countries like South Korean conducted tests at large scale and controlled the spread of Coronavirus in an effective manner,” he said adding that we need to emulate good practices in our fight against Coronavirus in Telangana.

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Narayana Reddy said that each private diagnostic facility possess the capacity to conduct anywhere between 50 and 100 Coronavirus tests in a day. Therefore, the State Government should immediately frame local guidelines to allow private labs to conduct the COVID-19 tests which will help the government in controlling its spread.

“A research done by the Chinese Government in Wuhan revealed that nearly 30% people had no symptoms before they were tested positive for Coronavirus. Nearly 20% Americans too showed symptoms before testing positive. Therefore, instead of waiting for symptoms to emerge among suspects, the State Government should facilitate testing for COVID-19 at a large scale,” he said.

The Congress leader advised TRS Government not to indulge in politics or Red Tapism in this hour of crisis and take decisions that benefit the common people. He said people who could afford could go to private labs for testing for themselves, their families or their staff.

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