Defence minister, Rajnath Singh has unveiled via video conference a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by DRDO in association with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad and Private industry.
Speaking on this occasion, Singh said that the government under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi had taken several timely decisions because of which the spread of COVID-19 in the country is far less compared to many other countries.
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. He said this testing facility, which can process more than 1,000 samples in a day would enhance the country’s capabilities in fighting COVID19.
He said, Our armed forces are contributing in many ways – such as setting up of quarantine centers, providing healthcare facilities, evacuating Indian Nationals from other countries and more to fight COVID-19 and these efforts will continue.”
The function was also attended by G Kishan Reddy hon’ble union minister of State for Home Affairs, Santosh Kumar Gangwar hon’ble union minister of State for Labour and Employment, KT Rama Rao hon’ble minister for IT Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Government of Telangana, Ch Malla Reddy hon’ble minister of Labour, Government of Telangana and G Satheesh Reddy secretary DDR&D and 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 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 Indian population. The lab screens 1000-2000 samples in a day. This lab can be positioned anywhere in the country, based on the requirement.
In addition, DRDO acknowledged the contributions of iCOMM for provision of containers, iClean for design and build of the BSL2 and BSL3 labs in a time-bound manner, and Hi-Tech Hydraulics for providing the base frame.