Amit Shah Inaugurates Mobile Covid-19 Test Lab

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurating a mobile Covid-19 RT-PCR Lab in New Delhi on November 23, 2020. Photo: PIB
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurating a mobile Covid-19 RT-PCR Lab in New Delhi on November 23, 2020. Photo: PIB

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah on November 23 inaugurated a mobile Covid-19 RT-PCR Lab at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi. The lab has been jointly launched by SpiceHealth and the ICMR. The Covid-19 RT-PCR test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test.

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan also participated in the inauguration function. The Director General of the ICMR Dr. Balram Bhargava, the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Ajay Singh, and the CEO of SpiceHealth Ms. Avani Singh also took part in the inauguration ceremony.

This testing lab and more such planned labs are expected to help add more capacity to Covid-19 testing. The RT-PCR tests are supposed to be most decisive and crucial for Covid-19 testing. These tests will cost Rs. 499 and the cost of testing will be borne by the ICMR.

According to a government communique, the people of Delhi will not have to bear any cost. This initiative is a step in making Covid-19 testing affordable and more accessible to the common person.

The test report would be available within 6 to 8 hours from the time of sample collection compared to the average 24 to 48 hours taken by similar test reports.

SpiceHealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ICMR for setting up testing facilities (laboratories) and collection centers across the country. To begin with, the first testing facility has been set up in Delhi.

More such testing facilities will come up in different parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) over the coming days. It is planned to set up 10 labs in the first phase. At the outset, each lab would be able to test up to 1,000 samples per day and testing would slowly be increased to 3,000 samples per day per lab.

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Rakesh Raman