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Wednesday, 03 March 2021 3.22 PM IST

Amit Shah flags off mobile RT-PCR lab in Delhi; tests at Rs 499, results within six hours

amit-sha

NEW DELHI: As coronavirus is spreading fast in Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday inaugurated a mobile RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) lab at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) headquarters in Ansari Nagar in Delhi.

The lab has been jointly launched by SpiceHealth and ICMR. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also participated in the inauguration function.

This testing lab and more such labs which are planned to be set up shall help in adding more capacity to COVID-19 testing. The lab is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and approved by ICMR.

RT-PCR tests are the most decisive and crucial for COVID-19 testing. These tests will be offered at Rs 499 and the cost of testing will be borne by ICMR. This initiative is a step in making COVID-19 testing affordable and more accessible to the common person.

The test report would be available within 6 to 8 hours from the time of sample collection compared to the average 24 to 48 hours taken by similar test reports.

SpiceHealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ICMR for setting up testing facilities (laboratories) and collection centres across the country. To begin with, the first testing facility has been set up in Delhi. More such testing facilities will come up in different parts of the National Capital over the coming days. It is planned to set up 10 labs in the first phase. At the outset, each lab would be able to test up to 1,000 samples per day and testing would slowly be ramped up to 3,000 samples per day per lab.

The Secretary DHR and Director General of the ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava, the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, Ajay Singh and the CEO of SpiceHealth, Avani Singh also took part in the inauguration ceremony.

Meanwhile, India's coronavirus tally reached 90,95,807 on Sunday morning after 45,209 new infections were reported on Monday, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The overall cases include 4,40,962 active cases and 85,21,617 recoveries. With 501 new deaths, the coronavirus death toll in the country mounted to 1,33,227.

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