The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted a test licence to 14 private companies, including Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics India, to evaluate the quality of testing kits for detecting coronavirus (Covid-19).

The companies, including CoSara Diagnostics and CPC Diagnostics, will evaluate the quality of test kits and submit their data to the drug regulator.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Covid-19 tests will be conducted by accredited private labs to improve capacity for diagnosis and detection of the virus as the number of positive cases is growing.

DCGI granted the licence to Roche Diagnostics India for its cobas SARS CoV-2 diagnostic test kit.

Earlier this week, the Union Health Ministry of India issued guidelines for private sector laboratories who intend to initiate testing for the virus, while the ICMR appealed them to conduct the tests free of cost.