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Practo-Thyrocare to provide bookings for COVID-19 home tests

Online consultation and e-pharmacy platform Practo has partnered with private laboratory Thyrocare to provide COVID-19 home tests in Mumbai. Navi Mumbai company Thyrocare — among 49 private laboratories approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing — is authorised to conduct tests in Maharashtra. Practo declined to disclose to MediaNama the number of tests done so far. Practo said it will soon expand tests to the rest of the country. The company will likely do so in partnership with other ICMR-approved private testing labs, which are situated across 11 states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, among others. Practo told MediaNama it is too early too comment on this. How the tests will be done: People can book the tests — capped by the Health Ministry at a cost of Rs 4,500 — on either Practo or Thyrocare. They will have to provide a doctor's prescription along with a Test Requisition Form, and their photo ID. This is in line with the ICMR's private testing guidelines, which mandate private labs to collect contact information of the patients to enable contact tracing. How samples will be collected, and precautions: Certified phelobotomists — physicians who draw blood from patients — from healthcare company I2H Solutions will collect the samples from the patients' home directly, and will take all "necessary precautions" in the ICMR guidelines while taking swabs, Practo said. The Practo app says a trained lab technician wearing a single-use bio-hazard suit will be sent to collect the sample. India does not have its…

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