• Medical Research Institute - Sri Lanka

    The premier medical research institute in Sri Lanka
  • Medical Research Institute - Sri Lanka

    The premier medical research institute in Sri Lanka
  • Medical Research Institute - Sri Lanka

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At MRI we accept samples of “corona suspects” ( well fitting to the definition of a patient under investigation for Coronavirus infection ) who are under the care of specialist clinicians all over the country irrespective of whether the suspects are under the care in the government or private hospitals.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance: Infection prevention and control / WASH by WHO

Coronavirus ( shown in the below picture) is large in size where the cell diameter is 400-500 micron and for this reason any mask prevents its entry. It usually settle on the surfaces due to its weight. The virus lives on the hands for 10 minutes, so using an alcohol sterilizer to clean meets the purpose of prevention.

We have already established “Coronavirus PCR assay at the Department of Virology-MRI with available limited resources.

We are testing suspected patients’ samples daily basis with a remarkable turnaround time of 6-24 hours. For suspected samples in addition to human coronavirus we also test for all other testing such as influenza RSV, adenovirus, 21 other respiratory viruses  etc.
Before collecting and handling specimens for Coronavirus testing, determine whether the patient meets the current definition for a “Corona suspect” or “patient under investigation”.

Since the pathogenic potential and transmission dynamics of Coronavirus is not fully understood we recommend collecting multiple specimens from different sites at different times after symptom onset, if possible.

As given by CDC:

Points to consider when determining which specimen types to collect from a patient under investigation for Coronavirus infection include:

  • The number of days between specimen collection and symptom onset
  • Symptoms at the time of specimen collection

Additional points to consider:

  • Maintain proper infection control when collecting specimens
  • Use approved collection methods and equipment when collecting specimens
  • Handle, store, and ship specimens following appropriate protocols
  • Clearly mention the travel history and possible contact history if available

Local guidelines on sending specimens to Medical Research Institute

  1. Sample collection guidelines for Novel Corona-virus infection( COVID-19)
  2. Sample sending request formClick for pdf
  3. Interim Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratories-MOH

Triple packaging of Samples -PAHO WHO

  • Links to other international guidelines given in WHO and CDC

  1. WHO facts on novel coronavirus COVID-19Home/Health topics/Coronavirus
  2. Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Infection. Sounce-www.cdc.gov
  3. Protocol for assessment of potential risk factors for 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection among health care workers in a health care setting
  4. Household transmission investigation protocol for 2019-novel
    coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection – Source WHO
  5. Laboratory testing for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in suspected human cases Interim guidance 17 January 2020 ,WHO/2019-nCoV/laboratory/2020.3
  6. Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-CDC