Hyderabad: The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) launched the novel coronavirus testing facilities from its laboratory on Monday. The samples that are being collected from suspected Covid-19 patients at Gandhi Hospital have been transported to CCMB for diagnosis and confirmation.
The CCMB laboratories have capacity to conduct clinical diagnostic tests of anywhere between 800 and 1000 samples at one go. Moreover, the trained genetic researchers at CCMB also have the ability to give the results of such large group of diagnostic tests within 7 to 8 hours.
“Yes, we have already started receiving samples from Gandhi Hospital. Our team of researchers and laboratory technicians are ready to start the tests. We should be able to start releasing the results at the earliest,” CCMB director Dr. RK Mishra said.
All tests are free
The entire process of conducting the coronavirus tests including the diagnostic kits are being offered free of cost by the top research institute. “There is no money involved because this is a Centre and State Government initiative. All the tests will be conducted free of cost,” Dr. RK Mishra said.
Earlier, for quick and accurate diagnosis of Covid-19, the Empowered Committee for Covid-19 Response had allowed state-of-the-art laboratories of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to start culture of the novel strain of coronavirus and serve as additional testing and validation sites for research.
Following a request from Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the researchers at CCMB had come forward to offer diagnostic facilities for coronavirus.
Two weeks crucial
The CCMB director made it clear that the next two weeks would be crucial for the country. “I urge people not to take the lockdown lightly. It has been ordered for a reason and it is everyone’s responsibility to follow social distancing. The next two weeks are crucial,” Dr. Mishra said.
No scientific basis
At the same time, Dr. Mishra said there was no scientific basis for claims that the Indian coronavirus was less virulent.
“Assertions that Indian strain of novel coronavirus is less virulent are scientifically not valid and such claims are more of individual’s imagination than anything else. There is no scientific basis for such claims. More data has to come in before comparing the strains of coronavirus,” he said.
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