The purpose of this document is to provide interim guidance on laboratory biosafety related to the testing of clinical specimens of patients that meet the case definition of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This version is an update to the interim guidance adding recommendations on point of care (POC) or near-POC assays.

It is essential to ensure that health laboratories adhere to appropriate biosafety practices. Any testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 or of clinical specimens from patients meeting the suspected case definition (2) should be performed in appropriately equipped laboratories, by staff trained in the relevant technical and safety procedures. National guidelines on laboratory biosafety should be followed in all circumstances. For general information on laboratory biosafety guidelines, see the WHO Laboratory biosafety manual: third edition (3) in the interim before the fourth edition is released.


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