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Biosecurity is the protection, control and accountability of biological agents and toxins within laboratories, in order to prevent their loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access or intentional unauthorized release. Laboratories are responsible for biosafety and biosecurity that protects their workers, animal population, and the environment from exposure or spread of pathogens they come across with. The purpose of this preliminary study was to collect data in order to assess and evaluate the measures being taken for biosafety and biosecurity in clinical diagnostic and research labs. Visits to the sites were prescheduled and in some cases were informal and unscheduled with the hope to get a clear picture of the practices. A detailed observational survey and unwritten questions were used to elicit information. The focus was on laboratory licensing system, infrastructure, administration, quality assurance, collection, handling, processing, storage and transportation of clinical samples, waste disposal, Lab records, access to bio hazardous materials and security checks on pathogens, researchers and workers. Based on Standard BRM Guidelines, maximum numbers of the labs were below minimum required standard and were categorized as BSL-0. Variety of BSL-2 and BSL-3 category bacterial and viral pathogens were easily assessable and, therefore, were isolated and identified in our lab. We conclude that lab management is lacking at all levels. It is recommended that biosecurity concerns be conveyed to all stakeholders for designing and implementing action plan.
Keywords: Biosafety; Biosecurity; Clinical labs; Research labs