As the government authorised private medical entities to test for Covid-19, Practo, a Bengaluru-based digital healthcare platform, has announced that people can now book a test for the fatal disease online. Approved by the Indian Council of Medica Research (ICMR), the company has partnered with Thryocare to conduct the detection tests.

The cost of the Covid-19 test has been fixed at Rs 4,500, which is in compliance with guidelines issued by the ICMR.

Punjab's 1st COVID-19 casualty, a 70-year old priest, infected 23 others
Punjab's 1st COVID-19 casualty, a 70-year old priest, infected 23 others

How to book the COVID-19 test online?

The online booking of the COVID-19 test can be done via Practo and Thryrocare's official websites.

Those making the booking would require "a valid doctor's prescription, duly filled Test Requisition Form signed by the physician, and a photo ID card".

Divulging the details of the procedure, the company stated that certified phlebotomists from I2H will collect the samples from the patients' homes directly.

"They will be taking all necessary precautions mentioned in the ICMR guidelines while taking the swabs. The swab that is taken during the test will be collected in a viral transport medium (VTM) and will be transported in a cold chain to the Thyrocare laboratory which has been selected for COVID-19 testing," said Practo.

The report will be uploaded on the Practo website within 24-48 hours of the sample collection.

As of now, the facility is only limited to Mumbai and will soon be extended to the rest of the country.

Practo's Chief Health Strategy Officer sheds more light

Noting that large scale testing is crucial to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Practo's Chief Health Strategy Officer, Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, has said that they are working to ensure that access to COVID-19 tests is not an issue.

"We will continue to work closely with the authorities to identify more such areas where Practo can solve for accessibility – be it for doctor consultations, testing or medicine delivery. We stand firmly committed to our vision of making quality healthcare accessible to all Indians, especially in difficult times such as these," he said.

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

The government has so far approved 47 private labs across the country to conduct COVID-19 tests and is constantly working on expanding the list.

India's coronavirus case count has surpassed the 1200 mark and a 21-day nationwide lockdown has been imposed to break the chain of transmission.