A first of its kind mobile viral research lab (MVRL) that would help speed up COVID-19 screening and related research and development activities was launched in Hyderabad Thursday. The MVRL was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad based laboratory of DRDO, in consultation with the ESIC Hospital at Erragadda in the city. The facility which is a Bio-Safety Level 2 and Level 3 lab was built in a record time of 15 days and can process more than 1,000 samples in a day.
The MVRL is the combination of a BSL 3 lab and a BSL 2 lab essential to carry out the activities. The labs are built as per WHO and ICMR Bio-safety standards to meet international guidelines. The system has built-in electrical controls, LAN, Telephone cabling, and CCTV, said a press release.
The Mobile Lab will be helpful to carry out the diagnosis of COVID-19 and also virus culturing for drug screening, convalescent plasma-derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients towards vaccine development early clinical trials specific to the Indian population. The lab screens 1000-2000 samples per day. This lab can be positioned anywhere in the country, as per requirement, it added.
The DRDO has also acknowledged the contributions of M/s iCOMM for the provision of containers, M/s iClean for design, and build of the BSL2 and BSL3 labs in a time-bound manner, and M/s Hi-Tech Hydraulics for providing the base frame.
Inaugurating the facility via video conference Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the setting up of this Bio-Safety Level 2 and Level 3 lab in a record time of 15 days which usually takes about six months. He said this testing facility which can process more than 1,000 samples in a day will enhance the country’s capabilities in fighting COVID19.
MoS Home G Kishan Reddy, MoS Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Telangana Minister for IT, MAUD, and Industries KT Rama Rao, Telangana Minister for Labour Ch Malla Reddy, and Dr. G Satheesh Reddy Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO participated via video conferencing.
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