Guidelines for storage of respiratory specimens collected for COVID-19 diagnosis by RT PCR platforms in Government laboratories

In the ongoing laboratory testing for COVID-19 diagnosis by molecular diagnostic methods, clinical specimens or a subset of the clinical specimens may need to be retained for various purposes such as performing additional tests, for quality control purposes or for use as control materials to assess newer diagnostic tests. In addition, a laboratory may need to store specimens for projects aimed at studying genomic epidemiology of the SARS CoV2 virus across regions and over time. All samples being stored for a long-term must be appropriately labelled indicating laboratory identifiers, date of sample collection and must be stored in properly functioning -80ºC deep freezers. A proper inventory (preferably electronic) of stored samples should be essentially maintained.