After a long wait, at last Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has given nod to the facility set up by Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) to conduct coronavirus tests. The University has begun its functioning on Monday. The examination of throat swab samples would begin on Today. The team of Department of Biotechnology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry worked hard for the last two months. It bore the fruits and now Nagpur’s administration got another laboratory to its kitty. The team was formed under the leadership of Dr Arti Shanware, Director of Rajiv Gandhi Biotechnology Centre (RGBC) along with faculties of RGBC, Department of Biochemistry and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The team came up with new facility in record time for testing COVID19 samples at its campus. ICMR has approved this laboratory for carrying out tests by RT-PCR method. The laboratory has been established in four rooms of the Commerce Department dedicated exclusively for the lab. This is an entirely new set up complete with all the necessary instrument and equipment including Bio-safety cabinet level 2 (BSL-2), RT-PCR machine, -80 and -20 deep freezers, cooling centrifuge etc., which were procured from the various departments and agencies. BSL-2 and RT-PCR are the most important equipment for the testing of corona virus. As the set up was entirely new, the team faced several hurdles and challenges while commissioning the laboratory during the lockdown. Four technicians, two data entry operators and one medical microbiologist have been recruited by the office of Civil Surgeon and District Nodal OfficerCOVID-19, Nagpur. All the technicians, medical microbiologist and Nodal Officer have undergone training of COVID-19 testing at AIIMS Nagpur. This is the sixth laboratory in the city.