Tamil Nadu: Varsities to divert Medical Testing Equipment to Colleges & Hospitals

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In a fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the universities of Tamil Nadu are diverting the sophisticated real-time polymerase chain reaction equipment to state medical colleges and hospitals to conduct PCR tests.

University of Madras, Bharathiar, Bharathidasan, Periyar, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Madurai Kamaraj, and Alagappa universities are sourcing the equipment to the public health department.

Till date total of sixteen laboratories have been approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research to conduct the test for COVID-19 through the RT-PCR method, but there is an urgent requirement of the additional equipment to increase the testing capacity.

A senior official also stated that at least seventeen Quant Studio RT-PCR equipment and other medical models from the biomedical science department of the seven varsities had been identified, and two each from Tanuvas and TNAU has been diverted in the past few days. As on date, the state has 50 pieces of RT-PCR equipment, which also includes twenty one recently procured.

Ten Thousand kits of PCR were provided by the Centre to the Tamil Nadu Medical Service. They procured 1.05 PCR kits of their own, which included ninety thousand procured on Tuesday.

Testing at the Trichy Government Medical college for COVID-19 round the clock has started, also they received two pieces of equipment they received from Bharathidasan University. The statement was issued by S Dhanapal, who is the head of microbiology at KAP Vishwanath Government Medical college in Trichy.

Testing can be done by the basic PCR equipment available in almost all the arts and science colleges in the state as per M S Mohamed Jaabir, who is the head of biotechnology and microbiology at National College Trichy. 

While S Sivaramakrishnan, the head of Bharathidasan University’s biotechnology department, stated that states could utilize research scholars of the varsity who are experts and trained in the process of testing the COVID-19.