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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 450-453

Laboratory biosafety issues related to coronavirus disease 2019

1 Department of Microbiology, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 OIC, Composite Laboratory, ACTREC-Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of General Medicine, ACTREC-Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Preeti Chavan
OIC, Composite Laboratory, ACTREC-Tata Memorial Centre, Sector: 22, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai - 410 210, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmpo.ijmpo_176_20

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Indroduction: The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia SARS-CoV-2 has necessitated the reinforcement of infection control measures in the hospital and laboratory setting. Contact and droplet infection control measures are advised for handling patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and airborne precautions for procedures that generate aerosols. Pre-ananalytical Phase: Risk assessment is conducted for all steps of laboratory processes viz. preanalytical, analytical and postanalytical. Standard Precautions must be followed at all times when laboratory staff handle clinical specimens that may contain infectious microorganism. Standard precautions must include hand hygiene along with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). All samples are collected in appropriate containers and all containers are decontaminated by 62-71% ethanol (alcohol) before transporting them to the laboratory in triple packaging. Analytical Phase: All samples should undergo initial processing in a biosafety cabinet (BSC). It should be ensured while undertaking all technical procedures that there is minimal formation of aerosols and droplets. Post-analytical Phase: All biomedical waste should be disposed as per state and national guidelines. Decontamination includes use of 1% sodium hypochlorite, 62-71% ethanol for surface disinfection or Hydrogen peroxide (0.5%). Conclusion: These laboratory biosafety measures are important to minimise the risk of laboratory transmission of COVID-19 to health care workers.

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