The Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh unveiled via video conference a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL), on Thursday. This mobile virology lab was developed by DRDO in association with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad and Private industry to arrest COVID-19.
Speaking on this occasion, the Defence Minister said the government under the leadership of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has taken several timely decisions because of which the spread of COVID-19 in the country is far less compared to many other countries. Mr Singh appreciated the setting up of this Bio-Safety Level 2 and Level 3 lab in a record time of 15 days which usually takes about six months time. He said this testing facility which can process more than 1,000 samples in a day will enhance the country’s capabilities in fighting COVID-19.
He said our Armed Forces are contributing in many ways – such as setting up of quarantine centres, providing healthcare facilities, evacuating Indian Nationals from other countries etc – to fight COVID19 and these efforts will continue.
The function was also attended by G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment, KT Rama Rao, Minister for IT Industries, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Govt of Telangana, Ch Malla Reddy, Minister of Labour, Govt of Telangana and Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DDR&D & Chairman DRDO.
The first of such Mobile Viral Research Lab (MVRL) that will speed up COVID-19 screening and related R&D activities was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad based laboratory of DRDO in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad. The Mobile Viral Research Lab is the combination of a BSL 3 lab and a BSL 2 lab essential to carry out the activities. The labs are built as per WHO and ICMR Bio-safety standards to meet international guidelines. The system has built-in electrical controls, LAN, Telephone cabling, and CCTV.
The Mobile Lab will be helpful to carry out the diagnosis of COVID-19 and also virus culturing for drug screening, Convalescent plasma-derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients towards vaccine development early clinical trials specific to the Indian population. The lab screens 1000-2000 samples per day. This lab can be positioned anywhere in the country, as per requirement.
*As reported by the office of PRO (Defence)