Delhi govt. stops sending samples to private testing laboratory

The Delhi government has decided to stop sending samples for RT-PCR tests to SpiceHealth, which was testing the highest number of samples, as per an official order.

The Hindu had reported earlier this week that multiple districts had complained that test results from SpiceHealth are getting delayed over 72 hours. SpiceHealth had then said that there was only a “slight delay”.

The order issued on April 16 by the Health Department has removed SpiceHealth from the list of labs to which samples are sent by the collection centres, compared to an earlier order.

Samples collected by government-run testing centres are sent to private and government labs.

When contacted, SpiceHealth spokesperson, said: “We continue to work closely with the Delhi government and ICMR and continue to process thousands of test samples on a daily basis sent by the Delhi government.”

But after sharing a copy of the Friday’s order, the company did not comment on its name not being in the list of labs. Despite multiple attempts, the SpiceHealth spokesperson also did not comment on whether it received any samples from the government on Saturday for RT-PCR test, or the number of such samples, if they did.

According to an order issued on January 15, all 11 districts were asked to send samples for testing to SpiceHealth and the total number of samples to be sent daily was 13,500. The number was later increased to 25,000, as per officials. In the April 16 order, SpiceHealth is not mentioned in the list of labs for any of the 11 districts.

“To ensure districts have adequate number of slots available in labs to get their samples processed within a stipulated time frame (preferable 24 hours and latest within 48 hours). The linkage of public and private labs with each district of Delhi is amended with immediate effect,” read the April 16 order which amended the January 15 order.

“Since SpiceHealth is not on the list, we did not send any sample to them on Saturday,” a district official said.

The testing facilities of other labs are also stretched, and many labs have 2-3 days delay in collection of samples from home. People have also complained about getting results late.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 10:54:52 PM |

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