India’s First Mobile Laboratory I-Lab Launched by Health Ministry for COVID-19 Testing

By      20-Jun 2020       Reading Time: 2 Mins

India’s First Mobile Laboratory I-Lab Launched by Health Ministry for COVID-19 Testing

On Thursday (June 18), Union Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a mobile laboratory for coronavirus testing which can be deployed in remote areas and help in promoting last-mile testing. 

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology along with the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated DBT-AMTZ COMManD (COVID-19 Medtech Manufacturing Development) consortia to cater the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.

The mobile lab, also known as I-Lab or Infectious Diseases Diagnostics Lab, can conduct 50 RT-PCR and about 200 ELISA tests in a day. A double set of machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 tests per day in 8 hours shift, minister explained.

According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the mobile I-LAB  will be deployed in remote, interior and inaccessible parts of the country. AMTZ is Asia’s first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated for medical technology and supported by various ministries. The mobile testing lab is an outcome of this initiative.

There are now total 20 hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories and these have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.

Health Minister added that there are 953 testing laboratories in all corners of the country at present.

“In the near future with all these collective and cooperative efforts, India will achieve self-sufficiency in healthcare technologies leading towards ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’,” he further said.

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DBT Secretary Renu Swarup mentioned through the concerted efforts of Indian scientists, the country has achieved a capacity of producing over 5 lakh testing kits per day, exceeding the target of having one lakh test kits by May 31. She also stated that I-Lab has been created in a record eight days by the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone team with the support of DBT.

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