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CSIR-CFTRI to Provide Testing Equipment for Detection of COVID-19

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Mysuru has touched 28 and 7 cases have been reported within a span of 24 hours. This is according to the latest media bulletin released by the Karnataka Health Department. Hence Mysuru-based CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI) has joined hands with the district administration by making available equipment needed for testing of samples.

At present COVID-19 infection is detected by a very sophisticated and precise technique known as Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method. This PCR method involves extraction of the RNA of the virus from samples & amplification of the same using a PCR machine. A clear benefit of the PCR test is that it can detect the virus in a person at a very early stage, that is, even symptoms emerge.

Mysore district has been recognized as one of the four hot spot districts with a large number of suspect infections.  Suspected people quarantined need to be tested before & after the quarantine period for the presence of virus in their bodies, irrespective of they show the disease symptoms or not.

CSIR-CFTRI is providing two PCR machines & one RNA extraction unit along with necessary chemicals to the district administration for coping with the large number of samples to be tested in the district.

“Precise and accurate testing is the need of the hour.  Since the test is very sophisticated and is being done in select centres approved for testing by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), we are supporting by way of adding to the capacity,” says Dr. KSMS Raghavarao, Director, CSIR-CFTRI.  Along with the equipment, two skilled technicians will also be provided for the period required by the District Administration, he said.

The PCR machines were handed over on 5 April 2020. Dr. Amrutha Kumari, Nodal Officer, Virus Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (VRDL) & In-Charge COVID Test Laboratory, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Mysuru received the equipment. This would help the centre to triple the number of tests done per day, she said. The RNA extraction unit will reach in a week’s time.

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