Eighteen laboratories already testing coronavirus samples

The Ministry of Health is extending laboratory capacities to diagnose the coronavirus. The National Institute of Public Health today involved five additional diagnostic sites; an overview is given in the table. Altogether, eighteen laboratories are currently able to examine coronavirus samples, and others are expected to be involved.

The National Institute of Public Health has called on around a hundred state and private laboratories in the Czech Republic to participate in coronavirus testing. One-third of these laboratories have expressed interest, and eighteen laboratories have supplied data and already been involved in diagnostics. “Our goal is to maximize our laboratory capacity, regardless of whether they are state or private facilities. Laboratory capacities are currently sufficient, but we want to be ready for further development of the infection. We would therefore appreciate that all laboratories which comply with external quality assessment are involved in testing. We have called on Hygiene Stations to test all persons in quarantine and who are in risk areas,” said Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch.

As medical facilities, laboratories must have a quality control system in place that is continuously monitored. The aim is to ensure supervision of any new coronavirus infection, surveillance and test result reporting, and proper and safe diagnostic procedures. In addition to quality, it is important to involve these laboratories in reporting investigated results and the system for confirming any unclear samples at the National Reference Laboratory, as established worldwide and required by the WHO.

If testing is indicated by a physician or a hygiene station, it is also covered by public health insurance. In the case of non-indicated persons interested in testing by a physician or a hygienist, they may contact any of the laboratories mentioned that have passed an external quality assessment. The test for the virus is charged according to the laboratory’s price list,” said the Minister of Health. “In a situation when the number of cases and the risk of spreading the disease are both increasing, it is in our interest to allow citizens to be examined even if they are not indicated. However, I strongly urge all citizens to contact a laboratory first by telephone and not go to the laboratories personally,” the Minister added.

Laboratory diagnostics in the acute phase of coronavirus disease is currently based only on direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid (RT-PCR). Given the several-day interval from the first symptoms to the onset of the antibody response (the so-called immunological window), serological tests only have a supportive role (see WHO recommendations).

List of laboratories for examining the COVID-19 agent
Státní zdravotní ústav NRL (National Institute of Public Health, National Reference Laboratory)
Zdravotní ústav se sídlem v Ostravě (Health Institute based in Ostrava)
Fakultní nemocnice Hradec Králové (University Hospital Hradec Králové)
Nemocnice České Budějovice (Hospital České Budějovice)
Fakultní nemocnice Motole (Motol University Hospital)
Nemocnice Na Bulovce (Na Bulovce Hospital)
Laboratories of Agel a. s. Ostrava
Fakultní nemocnice Brno (University Hospital Brno)
Laboratoř Diagnostika Ústí n. L. (Laboratory of Diagnostics Ústí n. L.)
Fakultní nemocnice Plzeň (University Hospital in Pilsen)
Krajská nemocnice Liberec (Regional Hospital Liberec)
Fakultní nemocnice Olomouc (University Hospital in Olomouc)
VIDIA-DIAGNOSTIKA, spol. s r. o.
Oblastní nemocnice Trutnov a. s. (Regional Hospital Trutnov)
IFCOR klinické laboratoře Blansko (IFCOR clinical laboratories Blansko)
Lab In – Institut laboratorní medicíny KV (Lab In – Institute of Laboratory Medicine in Karlovy Vary)

Public Relations Department
Ing. Gabriela Štěpanyová, Press Secretary, telephone: 224 972 167, e-mail: tisk@mzcr.cz