Health Ministry Launches India's First Mobile Laboratory For COVID-19 Testing

The mobile laboratory, also called I-Lab or Infectious Diseases Diagnostics Lab, can be deployed at remote and inaccessible areas in the country, where there is no such facility.

India   |   19 Jun 2020 4:44 AM GMT
Writer : Reethu Ravi | Editor : Navya Singh | Creatives : Abhishek M
Health Ministry Launches Indias First Mobile Laboratory For COVID-19 Testing

As India grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday, June 18, launched India's first mobile laboratory for COVID-19 testing in rural and inaccessible areas of India.

The mobile laboratory, also called I-Lab or Infectious Diseases Diagnostics Lab, can run 50 RT-PCR and nearly 200 ELISA tests in a day. With a double set of machines, the capacity can go up to 500 tests per day in an eight-hour shift, Vardhan said.

"Launched India's first mobile lab for #COVID19 testing to promote last-mile testing access in rural & inaccessible areas of India. Present with me on the occasion was Smt @RenuSwarup Ji, Secretary, @DBTIndia," Vardhan tweeted.

To address shortage of critical healthcare technologies in the country and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, along with the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ), has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD (COVID-19 Medtech Manufacturing Development) consortia.

AMTZ is Asia's first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated to medical technology and supported by various ministries.

"Under this Consortia, India's first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in record time of 8 days. This is a mobile diagnostic unit with biosafety facility. The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Biochemistry analyses," Vardhan said.

The Health Minister added that the mobile testing facility will be deployed through the DBT testing hubs to remote regions of the country for COVID-19 testing. Currently, there are over 20 such hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories. Till date, these facilities have tested more than 2,60,000 samples for COVID-19.

"We had started the fight against COVID with one laboratory in February. Today, we have 953 laboratories across the country. Out of these 953, around 699 are government labs," Vardhan said.


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