#Covid_19 testing has reached India's hinterlands through I-LAB. THSTI reaches out to Faridabad and nearby regions. Watch the coverage on I-LAB by Rajya Sabha Television. On the panel is Prof. Guruprasad Medigeshi who leads the COVID-19 testing efforts of THSTI
Infectious Disease Diag Lab (I-LAB), a mobile lab unit for COVID-19 testing was flagged off by the Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad, District Magistrate, Faridabad, and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Faridabad. This unit will be used for COVID-19 testing by THSTI in Faridabad and its adjoining areas.
The bioassay laboratory of Department of Biotechnology’s Faridabad-based Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) will now function as an extension of diagnostic facility of ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad for COVID-19 testing. It will be the first and only COVID-19 testing facility in the Faridabad region.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two institutes also provides for the team at the bioassay laboratory to train manpower and build capacity at the ESI hospital for COVID-19 testing. While THSTI is funded by Department of Biotechnology in the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad is a premier medical institution under the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment.
DBT- THSTI’s bioassay laboratory was established under the DBT-funded Translational Research Program of THSTI. It was set up for clinical development of vaccines and biologicals. It is intended to meet the global standards in Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) and will be applying for accreditation by National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration Laboratories (NABL) for vaccine development and testing.
This MoU was signed following the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) decision to undertake an expansion process wherein it engaged government laboratories, which were not under ICMR, to also initiate testing facilities. This includes laboratories of DBT, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Defence Research and Development Organisation, and government funded medical colleges, among others.
Following ICMR’s approval to function as a COVID19 testing facility for Faridabad Bioassay Laboratory has started testing samples in Faridabad. The bioassay laboratory had tested 1042 samples as on 17th April 2020. The samples are brought in by ESI hospital-Faridabad which, in turn, gets samples from other local hospitals. The team led by Dr. Guruprasad Medigeshi, Professor at THSTI and Bioassay Laboratory Director, is also helping to train staff from Faridabad’s ESI hospital and Hasan Khan Mewati General Medical College, Nalhar, Nuh to enable them to test samples in the respective diagnostic departments. Both Faridabad and Nuh have been identified as COVID19 hotspots in Haryana.
ESI hospital has been assisted for infrastructure development. Dr. Guruprasad’s team is helping to operationalize a lab for COVID-19 diagnosis at ESI hospital to handle the increased number of tests to be conducted in Faridabad. “We are targeting to test 500 samples per day. Training the ESI staff so that the organizations can test more samples from Faridabad will be helpful”, Dr. Guruprasad said. A total of eight researchers from ESIC and HKMGMC, Nuh are being trained by for testing, RNA extraction, running Real Time-PCR assays, analysing data and final reporting.
THSTI's Bioassay laboratory will now function as an additional testing facility for the Mewat based Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College (SHKMGMC). With this, THSTI will now be testing samples from two medical colleges; the other one is ESICMC&H in Faridabad. Mewat (also called Nuh) district was identified as one of the COVID19 hotspots in Haryana a month ago.
DBT-THSTI’s Bioassay Laboratory has tested 4037 samples as on 8th May 2020 with samples coming from:
ESIC Hospital Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad
Civil Hospital, Palwal, and
Civil Hospital, Gurugram.