IMTECH all geared up to test COVID-19 clinical samples

CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) has announced that it will take up coronavirus (COVID-19) sample testing to increase the testing rate among suspected patients


New Delhi: In a major boost to increase the testing rate among suspected patients, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) announced that it will take up coronavirus (COVID-19) sample testing. This is in line with the directives issued by the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of lndia and advisory issued by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to operationalize COVID-19 testing by laboratories under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other labs affiliated to DST, DBT and DAE.

CSIR-IMTECH has already augmented its capabilities to carry out clinical testing for COVID-19 and has the necessary expertise in molecular microbiology. The lab has the requisite infrastructure including Biosafety Level (BSL)-3 facility as the labs are advised to take all appropriate biosafety and bio-security precautions before testing. A newly constructed BSL-2+ virology lab equipped with Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) equipment has also been established. All the mandatory approvals required for testing of clinical samples have been obtained to operationalize testing at the earliest.

With a limited number of test kits available, India has been primarily testing patients with a travel history and is currently ranked lowest in terms of testing per million population and this step by ICMR to involve all government-accredited labs is a welcome step and will be a game-changer in the testing of COVID-19 samples. In the initial phase, CSIR-IMTECH plans to operationalize capabilities to carry out testing of 50 to 100 samples a day, which can be subsequently ramped up as and when required.

Apart from testing of clinical samples, CSIR-IMTECH is also supporting healthcare professionals by providing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to prevent them from contracting any infection while serving patients. The institute is also extending help to the local administration and Red Cross Unit of Chandigarh by providing the logistical and infrastructure support.

CSIR-IMTECH is a national center for excellence in microbial sciences and was established in 1984.