PIB : Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities via video conferencing 27th July. These facilities are located at the National Institutes of Indian Council of Medical Research, at Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida.

The Prime Minister stressed on the need for developing corona specific health infrastructure at a fast pace. He noted that the Centre had announced a package of Rs 15,000 crore at the beginning of this battle. The country now has more than 11,000 COVID facilities and more than 11 lakh isolation beds. While the country had only one COVID testing centre in January, there are almost 1300 such labs now. He said that at present, more than 5 lakh tests are being conducted in the country daily, and efforts are underway to increase this capacity to 10 lakh in the coming weeks.

           During the virtual meeting with the Prime Minister the Chief Minister of West Bengal Smt. Mamata Banerjee briefed him about the state’s preparedness in dealing with COVID-19. She also thanked the Prime Minister for the cooperation extended by him time to time in combatting the pandemic and assured all assistance from her side in future. The Chief Minister also informed PM that her state is providing free of cost treatment to the Covid patients in the 81 designated Covid hospitals.

These hi-tech state-of-the-art testing facilities will boost the testing capacity by almost 10,000 daily tests. ‘High-throughput’ method of research will help to generate more mass testing using automation, characteristics determination and large-scale data analysis.

These labs will also reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials. The labs are enabled to test diseases other than COVID as well, and post the pandemic, will be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, Neisseria, Dengue, etc.

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