Sample testing of Covid-19 suspects in Punjab goes up to 800 tests per day: D.K. Tiwari

April 10, 2020 07:46 AM

Chandigarh - The Punjab government has purchased  5 additional RTPCR and 4 RNA extraction machines to conduct Covid-19 tests. The Machines have been installed in two of its VRDL (Viral Research Diagnostic Lab) labs situated at Government Medical Colleges, Patiala and Amritsar. Now the capacity of each lab to conduct the sample testing of suspected COVID-19 suspects has been increased from existing 40 tests per day to 400 tests per day.

In total these two labs would be able to conduct 800 tests per day as against the existing capacity of 80 tests per day. D.K.Tiwari, Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research said that in Punjab there were two VRDL (Viral Research Diagnostic Lab) labs where the testing of the samples of "COVID-19" suspected people are done.

He said that initially, the capacity of these labs was only upto 40 samples daily. However, looking at the emergency situation, additional 5 RTPCR machines have been purchased with the total expenditure of  Rs. 1.6 crore with this now we have total 8 RTPCR machines in the state. Now each lab has 4 RTPCR machines. In addition, 4 RNA extraction machines (with automation) have also been purchased spending  Rs. 1.25 crore rupees.

Tiwari further explained that with the installation of these new machines in both the labs existing at Government Medical Colleges, Patiala and Amritsar, the capacity of each lab has been increased up to 400 samples daily.

From April 9, 2020, the capacity for sample testing of COVID-19 suspects would increase up to 800 tests per day. He said that each lab is under the close supervision of the Principal Investigator of Viral Research Diagnostic Lab.

Till now, 1958 samples have been tested in both these labs. He said that Guru Gobind Singh Medical College & Hospital at Faridkot has also applied for approval of ICMR in this lab and it will soon start testing with an initial capacity of 40 tests per day.

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