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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 551-555

Strategies to ensure efficient laboratory functioning while navigating through the COVID-19 crisis in developing countries: An early experience from a tertiary care centre in India

1 Department of Pathology, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Punjab (A Unit of Tata Memorial Centre), India
2 Department of Radiotherapy, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Punjab (A Unit of Tata Memorial Centre), India

Correspondence Address:
Sankalp Sancheti
Department of Pathology, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital, Sangrur, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_613_20

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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) is a zoonotic viral infection that originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization shortly thereafter. This pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on the functioning of pathology laboratories due to the frequent handling of potentially infectious samples by the laboratory personnel. To deal with this unprecedented situation, various national and international guidelines have been put forward outlining the precautions to be taken during sample processing from a potentially infectious patient. Purpose: Most of these guidelines are centered around laboratories that are a part of designated COVID 19 hospitals. However, proper protocols need to be in place in all laboratories, irrespective of whether they are a part of COVID 19 hospital or not as this would greatly reduce the risk of exposure of laboratory/hospital personnel. As part of a laboratory associated with a rural cancer hospital which is not a dedicated COVID 19 hospital, we aim to present our institute's experience in handling pathology specimens during the COVID 19 era. Conclusion: We hope this will address the concerns of small to medium sized laboratories and help them build an effective strategy required for protecting the laboratory personnel from risk of exposure and also ensure smooth and optimum functioning of the laboratory services.

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