Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 23
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday inaugurated a mobile COVID-19 RT-PCR lab jointly developed by SpiceHealth and ICMR.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also participated in the inauguration function.
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.
The testing lab and more such labs which are planned to be set up will help add capacity to COVID-19 testing.
The lab is accredited by NABL and approved by the ICMR.
RT-PCR tests are most decisive and crucial for COVID-19 testing and are good standard as against error prone antigen tests.
The RTPCR tests will be offered at Rs 499 and the cost of testing will be borne by the ICMR.
This initiative is a step in making COVID-19 testing affordable and more accessible to the common person, a statement from the government said.
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 normally taken to get similar test reports.
SpiceHealth (an arm of SpiceJet) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the 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 facilities will come up in different parts of the National Capital soon.
Ten labs are planned 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.
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