Mobile Covid testing lab launched for Northeast starting Mizoram

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Beginning with Mizoram, the Centre on Thursday launched a Mobile Covid testing facility — a first of its kind Mobile Diagnostic Laboratory (I-LAB) capable of performing both RT-PCR and ELISA tests — for Northeast India.

The mobile lab has bio-safety facility and is capable of performing both RT-PCR and ELISA tests. It can also be utilised for testing other infectious diseases like TB, HIV, and therefore will remain relevant even in post-Covid times.

The Mobile Lab Technology will be rolled out gradually in other states of the Northeast as the region has unique climatic and topographical conditions.

It has been developed with support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, government of India, and is meant to provide Covid testing access to rural and remote parts of Northeast, a release from the Ministry said.

Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh, launched the mobile testing facility with Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga joining the ceremony online.

Exuding confidence that India will emerge triumphant from the current pandemic situation, Singh called for linking the I-LAB with a tele-consultation facility in accordance with disease profile of the population of the northeastern region.

He informed that tests like mammography and vision-testing can be added to the mobile laboratory which will prove hugely beneficial for the people of the region.

Singh said that ever since Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister, he has accorded special priority to the development of the Northeast, adding that this facility is a testimony of that commitment.

Acknowledging the efforts made by the AMTZ (Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone) team for building the innovative facility, Singh said the DBT has also established manufacturing facility in AMTZ for indigenously manufacturing various healthcare technologies, which are hugely imported, thereby helping us realise the vision of ‘Make-in India, Make for India’.

Speaking on the occasion, Zoramthanga said that this will help bridge the gap in Covid testing in the border districts and remote areas lacking in RT-PCR testing facilities.

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