The National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, has set up an “Advanced Virology Lab” for testing COVID-19. The facility has been developed based on the guidelines of the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
A Bio Safety Level 3 level facility, it can help in the advanced testing of coronavirus cases in the country. NBRI Senior Principal Scientist, Dr Samir Sawant said that biosafety levels are assigned to a facility depending on the pathogen it deals with.
According to ICMR guidelines, BSL2 level facility is recommended for COVID-19 but this is an advanced version, he said. This advanced version has a “Negative Pressure”, which means it has a suction facility that can suck any aerosol and pass it through filters. It can filter virus or bacteria to make it a safe COVID-19 testing facility. It reduces the possibilities of infections at culturing facilities, Sawant said.
Sawanth said that they would start testing 100 samples a day in the first week and later it would be increased to 500 samples a day.
NBRI director Prof. S K Barik said that this facility would add to the testing capacity of Uttar Pradesh. At present, UP is testing about 20,000 samples per day.
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