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Harsh Vardhan launches mobile laboratory for COVID-19 testing

A double set of machines in India's first mobile laboratory will help in increasing the capacity to about 500 tests per day in 8 hours shift.

Jun 18, 2020 19:47 IST
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The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on June 17 launched India’s first mobile laboratory for the testing of COVID-19 in rural and inaccessible areas of India.

Promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Andhra Pradesh Med-Tech Zone and Ministry of Science and Technology had collaborated for this project to address the shortage of healthcare technologies in India.

Andhra Pradesh Med-Tech Zone (AMTZ) is Asia’s first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem that is uniquely dedicated to medical technologies and has been supported by various Ministries of India.

Mobile Laboratory Lab: Key Highlights

The mobile lab which is also called Infectious Disease Diagnostic Lab or I-Lab will be able to run 25 RT-PCR and about 300 ELISA tests in a day. The lab can also take additional tests for TB, HIV as per CGHS rates.

A double set of machines will help in increasing the capacity to about 500 tests per day in 8 hours shift.

The Department of Biotechnology which is under the Ministry of Science along with AMTZ has initiated DBT-AMTZ COMMand (COVID-19 Medtech manufacturing development) consortia. It will address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and will promote self-sufficiency. The lab is the outcome of this initiative.

Renu Swarup, DBT Secretary stated that through the concerted efforts of Indian scientists, India has achieved a capacity of producing over 5 lakh testing kits per day, which exceeds the target of having one-lakh test kits by May 31.

The mobile laboratory lab has been created in the record time of 8 days by AMTZ with the support of DBT.

Union Health Minister during the launch of Mobile lab:

Dr. Harh Vardhan launched India’s first mobile laboratory lab and mentioned that the facility will be deployed through DBT testing hubs to the remote regions of the country for COVID-19 testing. There are now over 20 hubs in India with 100 testing laboratories and they have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.

He added that we started the fight against COVID-19 with one laboratory in February 2020 but today we have 953 laboratories across the country. Out of which around 699 are government labs.

The Union Minister on the occasion stated that with the cooperative and collective efforts, India will definitely achieve self-sufficiency in healthcare technologies that will lead towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.

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