[Last update: 3pm, April 4, 2020]
Compiled below are city-wise list of government hospitals and private labs where a suspected coronavirus patient can go and get tested.
Who qualifies for testing
Before you go there, be absolutely sure you meet the following criteria.
- Individuals who have undertaken international travel after March 4, 2020 AND have become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty of breathing).
- You have come into contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient AND you have also become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty of breathing)
- You are asymptomatic (don’t have fever, cough, difficulty of breathing) BUT are a direct contact or you are a high-risk contact i.e. you live in the same household with a confirmed case, OR live with a healthcare worker who examined a confirmed case without adequate protection
- Healthcare work who has become symptomatic (fever, cough, difficulty of breathing).
- You are already a hospitalized patient with severe respiratory illness (fever, cough, difficulty of breathing.
Only if you meet one of the above 5 conditions will you be tested. Go to the testing centers listed below ONLY if you meet the above criteria. Otherwise, you will be refused testing.
City-wise Testing Centers to Contact
Steps to follow to get testedIf you qualify the criteria to be tested listed above, these are the steps you need to follow.
- Download the SARS-CoV-2 Testing Form. You have to fill this form, and get it signed and stamped by a doctor.
- You also have to attach your doctor’s prescription along with this form.
- You are also required to give your Aadhar Number, which should support the current address and the contact number of the suspect patient.
Unless you follow these steps, you will be refused testing.
Additional Guidelines for testing with Private labsThe Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), which is the apex government organization for biomedical research in the country, has appointed a few private labs also to conduct Covid-19 testing, following the steps outlined in the previous section.
Among the guidelines stipulated by ICMR for private testing labs include:
- Each of the approved private labs have been given registration number by ICMR. Ensure that the lab you are testing with has this registration number prominently displayed. If not, ask for the lab to show the ICMR registration number, so you know this is an approved lab for testing.
- While the ICMR recommends testing free of cost but they also have stated that the maximum cost for testing should not exceed Rs 4,500. The labs cannot charge a price higher than this for testing.
The updated guidelines by ICMR for testing by private labs was issued on March 21, 2020. These may be updated depending on the situation, and we will update the information here accordingly.
Other government labs
ICMR, as it expands the testing capacity for Covid-19 across the country, has now added two categories of labs.
First, it has added more government labs that can conduct the testing but they have to source the testing kit by themselves. In the table below, we have labeled them as Govt – Others.
Second, there are new sample collection centers being added, especially in more remote locations. These are government centers that can only collect the samples, and not test. In our table, we have labeled them as Govt – Collection Only.
How do I get antibody testing done
Antibody testing, which involves finger-prick blood testing that may give results in half an hour, is only going to get rolled in designated hotspots. ICMR is still to share guidelines how this rapid testing has to be conducted.
This is a rapid testing procedure meant to quickly identify possible Covid-19 patients in a region/locality where there is big outbreak of the infection suspected.
The actual test – nasal and throat swab tests – and their results take 2-3 days for the confirmation. So the rapid antibody testing is an interim test, which can be done quickly for a large number of people, and then, only those who turn positive on this test, are then sent for the confirmation tests.
There are private companies claiming they have regulatory approvals to sell these testing kits, but that is not true. The kits and the procedure are not defined yet – so please beware of buying such home testing kits online.
We will update the information regarding antibody testing procedure and guidelines as ICMR releases them.
[Note: We are updating the information on this page on a daily basis, and will add information about testing centers and procedures as they get updated by the government.]