All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Nagpur, has been designated ‘Mentor Institute’ by ICMR, to handhold and mentor medical colleges and to facilitate the establishment of COVID-19 diagnostic facilities for the state of Maharashtra, Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It will now mentor a total of 39 Institutions (34 medical colleges previously); 32 medical colleges in the state of Maharashtra (includes all Govt. and Private colleges with no COVID-19 testing facility except Mumbai and Pune).
Five more Institutions have now been added to the list (4 Universities and 1 Veterinary college), taking the count to 39 institutions. Maj Gen (Dr) Vibha Dutta, SM is the principal coordinator for the same.
AIIMS Nagpur has contacted the enlisted institutions (private and govt colleges) and invited applications for setting up the COVID-19 labs. Microbiologists and lab technicians from 15 different medical colleges across the state of Maharashtra have already received training at AIIMS, Nagpur, till date.
The proposed COVID-19 laboratories in the enlisted institutions are verified and approval is given only if they possess the necessary equipment, manpower, training and infrastructure along with calibration of all the functional equipment as per ICMR guidelines. Test samples are provided to the labs and results assessed and corroborated, before granting final approval. ICMR is immediately notified about the approved labs.
Out of 39 institutions now, six are functional now. Recently, AIIMS, Nagpur has granted approval to Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, Shree Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Vilasrao Deshmukh Government Institute of Medical Sciences (Latur) after evaluating their proposal.
Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Amravati University is having all the required facilities and will be given approval shortly after the compliance.
Department of Medical Education and research, Maharashtra have also ordered for equipment for eight Government Colleges through Hafflkin institute. Training of technicians and preparation of infrastructure for COVID 19 testing laboratory in these Government colleges is in progress.
Many private colleges across the Maharashtra are having adequate infrastructure and trained manpower, have applied for NABL accreditation. They will be granted approval by AIIMS, Nagpur to carry out test once NABL accreditation is done.
AIIMS Nagpur has also been actively coordinating with ICMR for the provision of testing kits to all approved Government laboratories.
All the core team members under the leadership of Maj Gen (Dr) Vibha Dutta, SM are working hard for establishment of COVID 19 lab in Maharashtra. Core Team members are Dr. Manish Shrigiriwar, Dr. Meena Mishra, Dr. Arvind Kushwaha, Dr. Samir Dwidmuthe, Dr. Ranjan Solanki, Dr, Suyog Jaiswal and Dr. Prashant Sawarkar.