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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78-79

Adherence to the biosafety protocol while processing samples of Corona Virus Disease 2019


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission03-Jul-2020
Date of Decision19-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance27-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication06-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_84_20

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Adherence to the biosafety protocol while processing samples of Corona Virus Disease 2019. J Nat Sci Med 2021;4:78-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Adherence to the biosafety protocol while processing samples of Corona Virus Disease 2019. J Nat Sci Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Mar 5];4:78-9. Available from: https://www.jnsmonline.org/text.asp?2021/4/1/78/306266




  Introduction Top


The corona virus disease2019 (COVID19) pandemic continues to increase in terms of its magnitude and the associated deaths.[1] In fact, as on July 19, 2020, a cumulative total of 13,876,441 cases and 593,087 deaths have been attributed to the novel viral infection.[1] The maximum number of cases has been reported in the American and the European region, while the global case fatality ratio has increased to 4.3%.[1]

Urgent Need

This calls for strengthening of the preparedness activities and formulation of a response plan, with special focus on capacity building and strengthening activities pertaining to laboratory capacity, patient care, contact tracing, active surveillance, risk communication, research, and community engagement.[2],[3]

COVID-19 and Laboratory support

From the laboratory perspective, since the employment of the genomic methods toward the start of the outbreak, significant advancements have been made and now we have a network of international laboratories which are assisting national laboratories and playing a remarkable role in facilitating the early detection of cases.[3],[4] Advancements in the field of laboratory diagnosis is a must to ensure that the health sector succeeds in detecting and preventing transmission of the disease.[3],[4]

Adherence to the biosafety standards

Amidst all these laboratory progress, it is extremely essential that all the earmarked laboratories should adhere to the standard biosafety protocols whenever they are processing clinical specimens obtained from any symptomatic or asymptomatic individual.[4] Prior to designating a laboratory for processing samples of coronavirus, each laboratory should be subjected to risk assessment (viz., a process to collect information and evaluate the potential riskcumconsequences of exposure of infected material at the workplace and to assess the presence of appropriate risk control measures for each of the potential risks).[4] This risk assessment should encompass each step and start from the first step of sample collection till the final step of isolation of virus.

All types of samples should be dealt in only equipped laboratories by trained personnel with technical expertise and they should strictly adhere to good microbiological practices (viz., strict adherence to aseptic measures, not to smoke, eat or drink in the laboratory, wear protective glasses always, practice thorough hand washing with soap and water, etc.) and procedures.[2] The specimens should be processed as per the safety norms and regulations set by national agencies such as Indian Council of Medical Research or Center for Disease

Control and Prevention in the United States. All these personnel should have access to personal protective equipment as we want to avert any occupationinduced exposure. It has been recommended that the initial processing of the sample should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet while the activities of virus culture or isolation or while dealing with animals infected with the COVID19 should be done in a biosafety level3 facilities.[4] However, the activities dealing with viral sequencing or nucleic acid amplification should be carried out on a biosafety leve l2 facilities.[4] Further, appropriate disinfectants should be used for blood spills or contaminate surfaces to avoid any labinduced exposure. At the same time, all the specimens transported from or within laboratories have to be kept in a secondary container for shipment and should be transported as Biological Substance Category B.[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance to avoid laboratory-induced exposure and a resulting outbreak. Thus, the best possible way is to strictly adhere to the biosafety protocol and use standard good microbiological practices and procedures.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 180; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200718-covid-19-sitrep-180.pdf?sfvrsn=39b31718_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Jul 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Jernigan DB; CDC COVID-19 Response Team. Update: Public health response to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak – United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:216-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Laboratory Biosafety Guidance Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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