LPrivate laboratories are called to the rescue to carry out PCR and serological tests. In a new circular sent to regional health directors on September 12, the supervisory ministry updated its screening protocol, in order to “To improve the contribution of these laboratories” in the management of Covid-19, as indicated in the document.
A decision that is part of a strengthening of the public-private partnership in the management of the health crisis, highly recommended by specialists for several weeks.
Multiply the tests
Thus, the second version of the specifications setting the requirements for carrying out the diagnosis of the new coronavirus, contained in the circular, “Introduces SARS-COV-2 serology in private laboratories and extends the molecular and serological diagnosis of Covid-19 to travelers, students and staff of companies and administrations, in addition to people sampled by health authorities in the screening for possible cases and contacts. This extension also concerns the public laboratories of the Covid-19 network ”.
This new decision is nevertheless subject to two main conditions: on the one hand, private laboratories are required to submit the results “Within 24 hours of the oro / nasopharyngeal and / or blood samples”. On the other hand, they are also required to install, “Before starting the diagnostic activity, the computer application set up by the Ministry of Health”.
The circular specifies that these new provisions also apply to private laboratories “Already having their authorizations before the date of this circular”, and “Controls and supervision of the activities of private laboratories and authorization requests will be carried out by the National Institute of Hygiene”.
Article 7 of the specifications also provides that private laboratories will be subject to a “Periodic and unannounced checks carried out by the competent services of the Ministry of Health”.
Any breach of the various regulations imposed by the specifications may result in withdrawal of the authorization, as well as “Disciplinary and penal sanctions provided for by the laws and regulations in force”.
To date, 18 private laboratories are authorized to perform Covid-19 diagnostics, according to a list published by Media24.
Asked by TelQuel, Doctor Nabil Boucetta, director of the Saiss laboratory in Fez, now authorized to perform Covid-19 tests following the new decision of the Ministry of Health, assures that he has been prepared for the application of this decision.
“Private laboratories can only take care of travelers, students, employees needing to be tested (…) and suspect cases only when they are recommended by a state structure”
“We were able to obtain the authorization without any problem, following a request addressed to the National Institute of Hygiene. Our laboratory was already equipped in accordance with the standards, and we make sure to rigorously respect all the measures contained in the specifications ”, he tells us.
As for the constraint linked to the delivery of test results 24 hours after the sample, Dr. Boucetta is reassuring: “The specifications are clear: private laboratories can only take care of travelers, students, employees who need to be tested to join their companies, and suspect cases only when they are recommended by a state structure . The flow is therefore not huge, on average 30 to 40 patients per day, which allows us to deliver the tests very quickly. ”
Our interlocutor also specifies that the installation of the ministerial platform, mentioned in the circular, makes it possible to declare negative and positive cases as soon as the results arrive.