- The capacity of daily RT-PCR tests in Delhi has been increased to 37,200
- The SpiceHealth said it will set up 20 PCR laboratories across the country
- The rate for an RT-PCR test in other laboratories is fixed at Rs. 2,400
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday (November 23) launched a mobile laboratory that will conduct RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 here at an affordable rate of Rs 499 and the results will be available in six hours. The Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing mobile laboratory, a joint initiative of the SpiceHealth and the government, came up after Mr. Shah stepped in to fight the recent spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi with a close coordination of various wings of the Centre and the Delhi government. The laboratory was inaugurated by the home minister, the tests would be conducted at a rate of Rs 499 and the reports will be available in six hours, an official said.
The rate for an RT-PCR test, considered to be the most accurate COVID test worldwide, in other laboratories was fixed at Rs 2,400 by a government-appointed committee and the report is normally available in 24-48 hours. The SpiceHealth, part of the aviation group SpiceJet, in a statement said the laboratory can process up to 3,000 test reports per day and it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The SpiceHealth said it will set up 20 laboratories in different parts of the country in the first phase and a significant proportion of the tests will be conducted in collaboration with agencies of the Centre and the state governments. Delhi’s health infrastructure has started improving after Mr. Shah chaired a high-level meeting on November 15 and gave 12 instructions, following a fresh spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital. The spurt in the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi was witnessed since October 28, when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time.
It crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11. The city recorded 6,746 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 5,29,863, while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll due to the disease to 8,391 in the city. The fresh cases came out of the 54,893 tests conducted on Saturday, including 23,433 RT-PCR tests, according to a bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.
On November 20, the Union home ministry had said the capacity of daily RT-PCR tests in Delhi was increased to 37,200. A total of 30,735 RT-PCR tests were conducted in Delhi on November 19 and the number of such tests carried out on November 15 was just 12,055, the home ministry had said. As part of the efforts to ramp up Delhi’s medical infrastructure, a total of 205 ICU beds and 116 oxygenated beds were added in various city hospitals on Friday. The Delhi government has also launched a door-to-door survey for possible coronavirus patients and till Friday, 3,70,729 people were surveyed. “For the first time, the number of RT-PCR tests in Delhi has exceeded that of the rapid antigen tests,” a home ministry spokesperson said on Sunday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.