Mizoram turns to private sector to ramp up COVID testing
AIZAWL | SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
The Mizoram government has allowed private hospitals and laboratories to examine samples for COVID-19 to accelerate the testing process, a ruling MNF legislator said on Monday.
Only designated government hospitals were permitted to test samples for coronavirus till now.
As per the "Mizoram Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2020", notified in the official gazette recently, private hospitals and laboratories having requisite facilities can collect samples and test them for coronavirus, Mizo National Front (MNF) MLA and state Health and Family Welfare Board vice-chairman, Dr Z R Thiamsanga, said.
Such private hospitals and laboratories will, however, have to comply with the orders, regulations, guidelines and instructions issued by the Centre or the state government from time to time, he said.
The state government will have the sole discretionary power to regulate sample testing rate and to designate COVID- 19 sample collection centres in private agencies, Thiamsanga said.
He said private hospitals and laboratories can conduct COVID-19 tests with the help of mini-PCR or TrueNat machines besides rapid antigen test kits.
Only two church-run hospitals — Synod Hospital in Aizawl and Mizoram Baptist Church Hospital in Lunglei — are likely to purchase mini-PCR machines, the legislator said.
The Mizoram government had begun COVID-19 tests in the state at the Zoram Medical College in Aizawl on April 7. Three RT-PCR machines with a total daily testing capacity of 1,500 samples have been installed at the hospital.
COVID-19 tests also began at the Lunglei Civil Hospital in the southern part of the state on June 12 with a TrueNat machine.