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Ballari VIMS to receive RTPCR machines from Veterinary College in Hebbal

In compliance with the directions given by the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Karnataka Government has ordered all private medical colleges and ESIC hospitals to set up Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories in the next 30 days. For this purpose, the concerned institutes have been asked to apply for certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) immediately.

What is real time RT-PCR?

Real time RT-PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus. Originally, the method used radioactive isotope markers to detect targeted genetic materials, but subsequent refining has led to the replacement of the isotopic labelling with special markers, most frequently fluorescent dyes. With this technique, scientists can see the results almost immediately while the process is still ongoing; conventional RT-PCR only provides results at the end.

While real time RT-PCR is now the most widely used method for detecting coronaviruses, many countries still need support in setting up and using the technique.

The concerned institutes have been asked to apply for certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) immediately.

Medical Dialogues had reported about the command issued by the Centre and the MCI ordering all the government and private medical colleges and deemed universities to set up labs to investigate COVID-19 cases as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had earlier ordered that all Government and Private Medical Colleges are required to have the capacity for COVID 19 Testing.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has also designated 13 Medical institutions to be the Mentor institutions for facilitating the establishment of COVID-19 Testing facilities in the respective States. The ICMR had also issued a list of 176 government laboratories and 78 private laboratories for COVID-19 testing.

The MCI while notifying the Mentor Institution has also provided their terms of reference, detailed guidance of the requirement of infrastructure and consumables for real-time RT-PCR laboratory and suggestive list of good-quality consumables. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bengaluru has been notified as the Mentor Institution for Karnataka

Speaking on the development, the Minister S Suresh Kumar, in charge of media briefings informed Deccan Herald that to increase the testing capacity to 10,000 tests per day, the RTPCR machines available with the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) and veterinary colleges will be relocated to ICMR-approved labs located in medial colleges and hospitals. The heads of these institutions will also depute their microbiologists and technicians working on these machines to the approved labs for training and operating these machines. The minister informed that the University of Agricultural Sciences on the GKVK campus in Jakkur is lending its machine to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine in Belagavi.

The Veterinary College in Hebbal is sending its machine to the Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences in Ballari, and Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences in Kalaburagi. The University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad is lending its machine to the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubballi. The Karnataka Institute of DNA Research in Dharwad is giving its machine to the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, and Institute of Agri-Biotechnology in Dharwad is sending its machine to Dharwad Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences.

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