Samples collected in Gurgaon are likely to be tested faster with the district now having its own laboratory for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing at the Civil Hospital in Sector 10.
According to officials, until now, samples were being sent for testing either to PGIMS, Rohtak, or to one of the six private laboratories authorised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct the tests in the district.
Officials said samples of only “indoor patients” – those who were symptomatic – and of the deceased were sent to private labs, while all other samples were being sent to PGIMS, Rohtak. The results took 3-4 days to come.
“The major advantage of this laboratory will be a reduced waiting time for reports. The lab will be sharing the load with PGIMS, Rohtak, leading to quicker results,” said Principal Medical Officer (PMO) Deepa Sindhu.
According to officials, a blind trial had been conducted at the laboratory, located at the Sector 10 Civil Hospital, earlier this month, wherein samples that had already been tested at PGIMS, Rohtak, were tested again. With the results being a “100 per cent” match to those of PGIMS, the process had moved to the state government, which gave its approval for starting the laboratory on Thursday.
“We have received permission for a staff of 16, including 10 lab technicians, three data entry operators and three research scientists. The matter has been conveyed to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) who will appoint the staff members, and he will take up the matter soon,” said the PMO.
Officials said that the lab can currently test only up to 92 samples a day. “The machine we have now is a manual RT-PCR. If we get an automatic RT-PCR machine, the time taken for analysis will reduce even further. If we have two machines and available manpower to run them around the clock, we can even do 300 samples a day,” said Sindhu, adding that a total of 40 samples had been tested on Thursday.
The district is, at present, collecting around 400 samples for testing per day. A total of 18,391 samples had been sent for testing until Thursday evening.
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