Procedure for Testing External Samples for COVID-19

Tata Medical Center
(Last updated on 23rd April 2020)

Testing for External Samples

a. Tata Medical Center will receive samples from hospitals or healthcare institutions only and not from private individuals. Outside samples will be limited to those from institutions only (i.e., no samples from nursing homes/ GPs/ personal clinics will be accepted).

b.  In light of the increasing number of samples being received daily, Tata Medical Center has decided to receive samples through a booking system.

i.  Hospitals wanting to send samples will need to email to covid.sample@tmckolkata.com giving information about the number of samples that will be sent for testing..

ii.  The date and time of receiving the email will be considered as the booking time. No booking requests will be accepted on telephone.

iii.  Tata Medical Center will respond, during hospital working hours, with the date and time when the samples will be received. This will ensure that there is no overcrowding at the sample receiving area.

iv.  All hospitals are requested to follow the prescribed sample storage guidelines while waiting to send the same.

c.  A maximum of 45 samples will be accepted every day at Tata Medical Center.

Sample Collection

  1. Sample for COVID-19 testing should be collected from patients, who fulfil suspected COVID-19 testing criteria. These criteria are laid down by the Government and may change from time to time.
  2. Samples must be collected by the referring hospitals, as per current ICMR & MOHFW guidelines.
  3. The referring institution will need to make sure that samples are correctly collected, as per standard sample collection guidelines, and packaged appropriately prior to transportation.
  4. Viral transport media (VTM) will need to be packaged using the triple packaging protocol, with sufficient ice pack inside.
  5. VTM must only be the type, approved by the Government. Tata Medical Center does not provide VTM. The same has to be procured by the referring institution.

Sample Acceptance Criteria

  1. Tata Medical Center will accept samples carried only by employees of the referring hospital. All referring centres are requested to provide an authorization letter to the employee carrying the sample. The letter will be cross-checked with the employee’s identity card. Samples will not be accepted from anybody other than the official hospital representatives.
  2. Samples will be accepted against a completed Specimen Referral Form (SRF). The form can be downloaded from (https://icmr.nic.in/sites/default/files/upload_documents/SRF_v9.pdf). A copy can also be downloaded from this webpage. A completed copy of this form, along with a photocopy, must be sent along with the samples. Please note that the treating Clinician’s name and contact details are mandatory.

Sample Submission Criteria

  1. Entry to Tata Medical Center will be through the Service Gate. The samples will need to be submitted in the hospital’s Phase-2 Building, Ground floor, Emergency Ward through a separate pathway. Tata Medical Center’s Security team will guide the representatives.
  2. Sample receiving time will be between 9 AM to 4 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. A list of public holidays for the next 3 months have been given below.
  3. The SRF and the samples will be screened for adequacy prior to accepting the samples. The SRF will be scanned and samples received, if found adequate. Samples/SRF not meeting the required criteria will be rejected and the appropriate hospital authorities will be informed for needful.

Reporting of Results

  1. There is a lead time for processing of samples, only after which reporting can be done. Sample processing is done manually and takes time. Tata Medical Center will endeavor to provide reports as early as is possible. However, all hospitals are requested to note that it may not be possible to process samples on the same day that they are submitted. Such samples will be processed and reported on the next day.
  2. Reports, once finalized, will be forwarded from Tata Medical Center to the District Health Officials and respective Referring Hospitals.
  3. Tata Medical Center will not report or communicate results of any such samples to patients directly. No telephonic request for reports will be entertained.

Payment for the Test

  • All patients will be registered at Tata Medical Center for processing of samples and reporting of results.
  • For samples received from all centers, the price for Real Time PCR testing is Rs. 4500/-.
  • The same may be deposited in the account details of Tata Medical Center through NEFTor paid by card at the time of sample hand over. Cash payments for such tests are currently not being accepted.
  • Please email to sanjeev.agarwal@tmckolkata.com & aparna.roy@tmckolkata.com with transaction details in case the payment has been done through NEFT.

Account Detail

Account : TATA MEDICAL CENTRE TRUST
Hospital Address: 14, MAR, New Town, Kolkata, 700160.
Name of Bank: HDFC Bank Ltd.
Account Type : Savings A/c
Account No.: 00601660000021
IFSC Code: HDFC0000060
Bank Address: Manekji Wadia Bldg., FORT, MUMBAI, PIN: 400001

Contact Detail

  • The helpline number for testing of outside samples for COVID-19 is +91-33-66058041. This number will be operational from 9 AM to 5 PM on all weekdays, and from 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
  • For suggestions, queries or feedback please email to covidtest@tmckolkata.com.

List of Public Holidays at Tata Medical Center (April-June 2020)

  • 10th April, 2020
  • 14th April, 2020
  • 25th May, 2020