On July 29, 2020 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities via video conferencing. As the name suggests, these high-tech testing facilities will ramp up the Corona testing capacity for sure, but also will become a long-term asset for nation’s health infrastructure even after the pandemic ebbs away. These labs are enabled to test diseases other than COVID such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, Neisseria, Dengue, etc.
The Three high-tech testing facilities
These throughput labs have been set up at 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.
Each lab is capable of testing over 10,000 samples in a day. These labs will also reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials.
What the PM Said
- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata are the economic hubs and lakhs of youth come here in search of jobs. The centres here are significant in this regard.
- The important element is that these facilities will be used for the testing of other diseases.
- India now has more than 11,000 COVID Care Centres. At the very initial stage itself ₹15,000 crore were set aside to boost the health infrastructure.
- From a single centre for testing in the beginning, now the nation has nearly 1,300 labs. Testing per day is at 5 lakhs, and the efforts are underway to reach this to 10 lakhs per day mark.
- India achieved unbelievable capacity during the crisis. The country which was importing PPE kits and N95 masks, ventilators is now ready for exporting them. India is now producing more than 5 lakh PPE kits and 3 lakh N95 masks a day.
- The capacity building with regard to ASHA network, health and civil workers in such a quick time is also a big accomplishment.
- Now, the focus should be to strengthen the district and village level health facilities of both public and private, ensure that the health workers will not be stressed.