Mohali gets two Covid-19 testing laboratories
Punjab cabinet ministers OP Soni and Balbir Sidhu jointly inaugurate both labs. Two others testing units also started operations in Jalandhar and LudhianaUpdated: Aug 10, 2020 23:49 IST
Countering the surge in Covid-19 cases, the Punjab government has upgraded facilities to 20, 000 tests a day, OP Soni, the state’s medical education and research minister said on Monday.
He was inaugurating two testing centres at the Punjab Biotechnology Incubator (PBI) Agri and Food testing Laboratory in Phase-5 and the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory (PFSL) in Phase-4 of the city with Balbir Singh Sidhu, state health minister.
Each lab, expected to test 1,000 samples a day, had been set up with approvals from the Indian Council of Medical Research. PBI had been given 25 and PFSL33 samples, respectively, for testing on Monday.
Of the four laboratories starting operations from today, the other two are the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, and the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana.
In his address, minister Sidhu stated that the surge in Covid-19 cases showed that large scale testing was being done and infected people were being isolated from others, thus preventing further transmission.
Pertinently, Punjab has become “first state in the country” where apart from the departments of health and medical education and research, the facilities of the home department (Forensic Science Laboratory at Mohali); animal husbandry department (Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar; GADVASU, Ludhiana; and Science and Technology Department (Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali) would be put to use for viral testing.
The four laboratories which started operations on Monday are each equipped with 16 pieces of equipment, including refrigerated centrifuge, fully automated biosafety cabinet and other testing tools, costing Rs 1 crore per lab.
About 83 staffers, including microbiologists, research assistants, medical laboratory technicians, data entry operators and other ancillary staff, had started working in the labs, minister Soni said.