Collector shuts down illegal Covid testing lab in Kochi


The Cochin Health Care Diagnostic Center at Edappally, which was conducting Covid tests illegally, was closed down on Wednesday. Ernakulam District Collector Jafar Malik stated that a case would be registered against the lab owner under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Earlier, a complaint was received that the Covid tests were conducted without adhering to the Covid protocols. The lab did not have a license or the ICMR approval to perform Covid tests. It was also learned that the lab technicians were working for over a day using the same PPE kit.

Besides, the lab was also instructed to send Covid test results regularly to the district administration. But they failed to duly submit the report. The collector said that the negligence of the lab resulted in difficulties in consolidating the Covid cases reported every day.

The legal action against the lab was taken after a raid was conducted by the District Collector, Health Department and Drugs Control Department on Wednesday. The district collector warned that similar inspections will be held in the coming days.

The district collector had instructed the labs to ensure that accurate details of all the persons coming for covid tests are recorded in the Labour Department Management System (LDMS) portal. The labs were also warned that strict actions will be taken in case of a failure on their part.

Those who visit for tests should accurately record details of their locality, including ward or division number. Incorrect recording of the data makes it difficult to estimate the weekly infection population ratio (WIPR) in different regions.

The Collector said that strict action would be taken against labs, which incorrectly record mobile numbers of those who came for testing. Due to this, the authorities are struggling to trace the infected persons.