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PM Modi to launch COVID-19 testing facilities in Noida, Mumbai and Kolkata on July 27

The facilities will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch “high throughput COVID-19 testing” facilities capable of testing up to 10,000 samples daily, on Monday, according to a statement from the Press Information Bureau.

“These facilities have been set up at the ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, and will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day. 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,” the press statement said.

Pooled testing

However, it wasn’t clarified what these techniques would be. High throughput screening in essence involves being able to test a large number of samples at a go. These could involve machines that can sequence entire genomes of a virus or could also mean “pooled testing”. Here, instead of individually screening each sample for presence or absence of the virus, a group of samples are bunched together. A ‘negative’ on an entire batch rules out an entire batch and a ‘positive’ would entail checking every individual sample of the batch. Such an approach could save precious reagents and chemicals but also runs the risk of potentially missing samples.

The event is expected to include Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Science & Technology, along with the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

The Health Ministry said in a statement on Sunday 36,145 COVID-19 patients were cured and discharged in the last 24 hours, which took the number of recovered cases to 8,85,576 and the recovery rate to 63.92% as of Sunday.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 10:41:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-to-launch-covid-19-testing-facilities-in-noida-mumbai-and-kolkata-on-july-27/article32196216.ece

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