‘ICMR has manpower to test for COVID-19’


Madurai Member of Parliament Su. Venkatesan said that the Indian Council for Medical Research's (ICMR) Centre for Research in Medical Entomology in Madurai has the necessary manpower and Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines to test for COVID-19. However, the facility was wasting its infrastructure, he said.

He told The Hindu that ICMR Madurai had at least eight scientists and at least 10 technical staff members who could aid in testing for positive cases.

“Several world-famous organisations and politicians from the Opposition have been calling for increased testing in the country. When Madurai has such a facility, why not put it to optimal use?" he said.

He said the increasing number of cases in Madurai over the past week indicated the need for more random testing.

A senior official from ICMR- Madurai said that they were predominantly an entomological unit and a field station with a few staff. “Decisions regarding testing must be taken only at our headquarters in Puducherry,” he said.

Collector T. G. Vinay said that the Government Rajaji Hospital’s lab tests around 500 samples every day from Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga.

“We have enough manpower and RT-PCR machines. There has been no delay or backlog in testing. Hence, it may not be necessary at the moment to use the ICMR facility,” he said.

However, the MP said the need for using the facility became obsolete when inadequate number of tests were being taken.

“We need to ensure that more tests are done and that RT-PCR testing kits are provided to the ICMR facility to ensure its maximum use,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:57:47 AM |

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