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Private lab in Kolkata sealed for illegal COVID-19 tests

For representational purpose only. A medic taking a sample for COVID-19 test in Kolkata, Friday, May 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

At a time when the West Bengal government is trying to increase the number of COVID-19 tests, an incident of a private lab conducting tests for the disease illegally has come to the fore in Kolkata. An FIR has been lodged and immediate closure ordered against a Kakurgachi-based testing lab. The lab has also been fined ₹10 lakh.

“Inquiry has revealed that the said diagnostic laboratory did not have ICMR approval and was, hence, found to be doing concluding tests for COVID-19 illegally,” an order from Sanjay Bansal, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, said.

The order from the department earlier this week said a complaint was received from a member of the public that the lab was collecting swab samples for COVID-19 unauthorisedly.

“Taking a serious view of the matter, the State government has ordered the closure/sealing of M/s Tribeni Clinics P-323, C I T Road Scheme VI, M, Kakurgachi, Kolkata - 7000054 along with a fine of ₹10,00,000 (Rupees ten lakh) under the relevant section of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, 2017,” the order states.

The development assumes significance as demands for more testing centres are being raised from different quarters of the State, including from the medical fraternity.

The State government has urged people to approach ICMR-approved testing centres in the State based on the prescription of a doctor or a hospital for COVID-19 testing. There are 17 such testing centres in West Bengal, 11 State-run and six private institutions.

The fourth most populous State is testing about 3,000 samples a day. On May 8, the State tested 3,015 samples. The number of samples tested so far stands at 35,767.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 8:13:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/private-lab-in-kolkata-sealed-for-illegal-covid-19-tests/article31542304.ece

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