Amritsar medical college lab ramps up Covid testing capacity by halfUpdated: Jun 02, 2020 21:13 IST
The Covid-19 testing capacity at the viral research and diagnostic laboratory of Government Medical College (GMC), Amritsar, has been increased by 50%, with the installation of a new automatic RNA (ribonucleic acid) extraction machine.
The laboratory so far had the daily capacity of conducting 2,000 tests. The testing capacity at the lab has increased by 2,900% in the last two months as it could only process 100 samples a day till April 8.
Punjab medical research and education minister OP Soni, who inaugurated the equipment on Tuesday, said, “Since coronavirus cases in the state are increasing by the day, the government purchased three such machines of which one was installed at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, on May 22 after which its daily testing capacity was increased from 400 to 3,000. The remaining machine will be installed at GMC Patiala in the coming days.”
He added, “The total testing capacity at the three GMCs in Punjab will be over 9,000 tests a day. We have enough kits available at the labs where doctors are working round the clock. Despite having increased the testing capacity, the daily sample collection across the state is relatively slow. The GMC, Amritsar, was sent only 1,200-1,500 samples daily by the health department even as it had the capacity to conduct 2,000 tests.”
Also, the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) is going to set up more testing labs in the state. Two new labs will be established in Mohali, while one each in Jalandhar and Ludhiana.