New Delhi: In the wake of at least 31 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India so far, the Union health ministry has made functional 52 laboratories for testing samples while 57 labs have been designated for helping in sample collection for COVID-19 to enhance capacity for diagnosis and detection of the disease.
An official said, following the increase in load of screening samples from suspected cases with symptoms and travel history to the affected countries, the Department of Health Research and ICMR has commissioned 52 laboratories for COVID-19 testing in India.
As on March 6, a total of 4,058 samples from 3,404 individuals have been tested by the network.
This includes testing of 1,308 samples from 654 individuals evacuated from Wuhan, China and quarantined at ITBP and Manesar Camp and tested twice on days 0 and 14.
Subsequently, another 236 individuals evacuated from Wuhan and Diamond Princess Ship, Japan on february 27 were tested on day 0 while, repeat testing will be done on day 14.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday sought strict action against those charging inflated prices for face masks.
During a review meeting on coronavirus outbreak, he stressed on the importance of states keeping quarantine facilities, isolation wards and testing labs in active readiness.
In Andhra Pradesh, labs at Sri Venkateswara institute of medical sciences in Tirupati, Andhra medical college in Visakhapatnam and GMC, Anantapur have been made operational while in Assam, labs at Gauhati medical college in Guwahati and Regional medical research centre, Dibrugarh have been activated.
In Delhi, the facility of sample testing has been made available at AIIMS and the National centre for disease control while in Gujarat, the facilites are available in BJ medical college in Ahmedabad and M.P.Shah government medical college in Jamnagar.
Also, testing facilities have been made operational at Government medical college of Haldwani in Uttarakhand and the National institute of Cholera and enteric diseases and IPGMER in Kolkata, West Bengal among others.