AMBALA: A molecular laboratory established for Covid-19 testing at a government poly clinic, Sector 10, Ambala city got the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permission on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Haryana home, health, urban local bodies minister Anil Vij inaugurated the development in the afternoon, told Ambala civil surgeon Dr Kuldeep Singh.
While talking to media, Vij said, "The lab inaugurated in Ambala is equipped with RT-PCR (real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction), Truenat, and CBNAAT (cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification) machines for virology and Covid-19 testing. These three machines installed at Ambala are presently capable of testing nearly 300 samples per day. Now the doctors in Ambala would not have to send their samples for testing at Rohtak, Karnal, or other places. The medical officers are now able to test Covid-19 in Ambala only."
Giving information about strengthening infrastructure in a fight against Covid-19, Vij said, "When the coronavirus started, there was not even a single Covid-19 testing machine, and we had to send the suspected samples to Pune or Delhi. But in the present scenario, within a very short period of time, now 14 machines are active in Haryana state."
On this occasion, Dr Kuldeep Singh said, "We got the ICMR permission on Wednesday and it has been established as per the norms and guidelines of the council. This lab has been established in just 12 days and around Rs 1.5 crore has been spent on it. This is a sixth district molecular lab established in the state, which is equipped with RT-PCR machine to Covid-19 testing."
Talking about the capability of the molecular lab, Dr Kuldeep said, "The Truenat machine is able to test 45 samples per day and it gives two results in around one hour. The CBNAAT is able to give 4 results in one hour and can test 90 samples per day. About the RT-PCR machine, it is capable of testing 200 samples per day, and can give results of 96 samples in 5 hours. After around 15 days, we are planning to enhance the capability of RT-PCR up to 400-500 samples per day."
When asked about cost of a test at the lab in Ambala, Dr Kuldeep told, “The private labs are charging between Rs 4,000 to 4,500 per test, whereas, the government lab at Ambala will cost around Rs 700 only.”
Ambala deputy commissioner (DC) Ashok Kumar Sharma, ACS Science and Technology Department Amit Jha, Ambala City MLA Aseem Goel, Ambala City SDM Gauri Midha, and other concerned officials were present on this occasion.