National

Coronavirus | Mobile I-Lab rolled out for last mile COVID-19 testing access

The mobile unit can be sent on goods trains to various parts of the country. Photo: Special Arrangement

The mobile unit can be sent on goods trains to various parts of the country. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday launched the country’s first mobile I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for last mile coronavirus (COVID-19) testing access.

The lab will be deployed in interior, inaccessible parts of the country and has the capability to perform 25 RT-PCR tests a day, 300 ELISA tests a day and additional tests for TB, HIV as per CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme) rates.

“Double set of machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 a day in 8 hours shift. It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from automotive chassis and put on goods train for sending to any location in the country,” the Minister said.

The Infectious Disease Diagnostic Lab (I-LAB) is supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, under the COVID Command strategy, the Health Ministry said.

The number of government labs had now increased to 699 and private labs to 254 as of Thursday. “In the last 24 hours, 1,65,412 samples were tested. The total number of samples tested thus far is 62,49,668,” it said.

NavRakshak PPE suit

The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has licensed the manufacturing know-how of a PPE (personal protective equipment) suit named — ‘NavRakshak’ — to five MSME clients to meet the ongoing country-wide demand for quality PPE kits.

These five manufacturers put together are planning to mass produce more than 10 million PPEs a year, a Ministry release said.

The manufacturing know-how of NavRakshak was developed at the Innovation Cell of the Institute of Naval Medicine, INHS Asvini Hospital (Mumbai) of the Navy, from where the name was derived, it stated.

“The PPE is cost-effective as it does not require any major capital investment and can be adopted even by gown manufacturing units using basic stitching expertise. The technology and quality of fabric is so superior that there is no need for sealing around the seam of the PPE suit, thus eliminating the need of importing costly sealing machines and tapes,” it added.

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 12:43:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-mobile-i-lab-rolled-out-for-last-mile-covid-19-testing-access/article31863762.ece

Next Story