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इंडियन आवाज़     21 Sep 2020 05:46:03      انڈین آواز

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches first mobile lab for COVID-19 testing

AMN

Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan today launched India’s first mobile lab for COVID-19 testing to promote last mile testing access in rural India.

The Infectious Disease Diag Lab (I-LAB) is supported by Department of Biotechnology under the Covid command strategy. This mobile lab will be deployed in the interior, inaccessible parts of the country. I-LAB has the capability to perform 25 RT-PCR and 300 ELISA test per day.

Expressing his happiness to launch the I-Lab, infectious disease diagnostic laboratory- a mobile testing facility, Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated this facility to provide Covid testing access to rural India. This mobile testing facility will be deployed through the DBT testing hubs to remote regions of the country for Covid testing. He congratulated and appreciated the efforts of the DBT in tackling the Covid pandemic, and added that DBT coordinated in scaling-up testing for Covid by reorienting premiere laboratories as Covid testing centers in a hub and spoke model. There are now over 20 hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories and these have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.

        Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “This has been possible through the DBT-AMTZ COVID Command Consortia (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia)” to cope-up with the current situation in the country and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency. The I-lab will be deployed through these hubs into remote and interior places”. The Minister appreciated the “Andhra med-tech zone team for building this unique, innovative facility for the country at the period of lock-down through tireless, dedicated and committed efforts”. He informed that AMTZ through the support of DBT has also established manufacturing facility for indigenous manufacturing of kits and reagents for various testing kits which were initially imported thereby helping us realise the vision of Pradhan mantriji on- Make-in India, Make for India”. He pointed out that today there are 953 testing laboratories in all corners of the country and elaborated on “Various steps taken by the ministry and departments towards achieving research components indigenization and their in-house manufacturing.” Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that “In the near future with all these collective and cooperative efforts, India will achieve self-sufficiency in healthcare technologies leading towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat.”

        Dr. Renu Swarup said on the occasion that through the concerted efforts Indian scientists, the country has achieved a capacity of producing nearly 5 lakh testing kits per day, exceeding the target of having one lakh test kits by May 31, 2020. She pointed out that this I-Lab has been created in a record time of 8 days by the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone team with the support of DBT under the National Biopharma Mission being implemented by the Public Sector BIRAC. She highlighted that the unit has biosafety facility and is capable of performing RT-PCR as well as ELISA tests.

DBT-AMTZ COMManD

        The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology along with Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD [COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia to address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.

        Under this Consortia, India’s first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in record time of 8 days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz. This is a mobile diagnostic unit with biosafety facility. The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Bio chemistry analysers. It can run 50 RT-PCR reactions and about 200 ELISA in a day.Double set of Machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 per day in 8 hours shift

It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis and can be put on goods train for sending to any location in the country.The BSL -2 Lab is as per NABL specifications and is being attached to DBT’s certified Testing centres.

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