In a bid to strengthen the COVID-19 testing capacity, the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is going to operationalise two rapid testing laboratories (high throughput system) and 49 additional testing centres by the end of this week.
A rapid testing laboratory will be equipped to test as many as 1,400 samples each day. These high throughput systems will be set up one each in Delhi-NCR and Bhubaneswar to exponentially increasing rapid diagnosing of COVID-19.
The additional 49 testing centres will be at various medical colleges and other places. It includes Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) among others. These would be fully equipped to test COVID-19 within this week.
Professor Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General, ICMR said, "As of now, we have 72 laboratories in the country to test the samples. Still, we are expanding our capacity. We are going to start rapid testing laboratories which have high throughput systems to test COVID-19 samples. In a day, it can test 1,400 samples. We have got enough reagents to start them. We have placed orders for 1 million probes from World Health Organisation (WHO). We should have them very soon."
Bhargava informed that ICMR has tested at least 11,500 samples nationwide since January 21. So far, India has reported 137 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus. Out of this, 120 are active cases, 14 patients got cured and discharged and three people lost their lives due to the virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as pandemic. Globally, over 167,511 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported and 6,606 deaths have taken place across 152 countries.