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Government to regulate PCR testing by the private sector – Ministry of Health

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is to regulate Covid 19 testing being carried out by the private sector the, country’s Ministry of Health announced today.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi met with heads of five private hospitals this afternoon November 2, and asked them to accept guidelines and regulations that the Department of Health Services will provide for them.

The private sector organisations present at today’s meeting were Lanka Hospitals, Asiri Hospitals, Durdens, Nawaloka and Genetech, the Minister’s spokesman Viraj Abeysinghe told EconomyNext.

He said a price range between LKR6,500 and LKR9,000 was agreed to.

Adding the private sector laboratories to the mix will increase the testing capacity by three to four thousand per day.

The Government Health Services has been carrying out between 11,000 to 15,000 tests per day after the second wave of Covid infections exploded in the Brandix apparel factory and later in the Peliyagoda Fish market.

In the last 27 days the number of confirmed Covid 19 cases in the country rose from 3,733 to 11,060 that has placed a major strain on the PCR testing capacity and creating fears that the health services would run out of hospital beds.

The private sector has been conducting tests for the past few months mostly for Board of Investment Companies operating in the Free Trade Zones.

Complaints that the government health services was falling behind in testing have dogged the fight against the second wave of infections.

At least 22 people have died of Covid according to official figures. (Colombo, November 2, 2020)

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Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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