DFRL’s mobile lab helps Mysuru boost its COVID-19 testing capacity

Mysuru has its lone testing lab Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the city’s KR Hospital.

Published: 12th May 2020 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2020 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

People take a look at PARAKH, a mobile microbial containment lab developed by Mysuru’s DRDO Defence Food Research Lab. (Photo | Udayshankar S, EPS)

By Express News Service

MYSURU: To battle COVID-19, Mysuru is increasing its testing capacity by over 30 per cent, with its newest addition of a mobile testing lab, built by the city’s own DRDO Defence Food Research Lab (DFRL).

According to authorities, with the mobile laboratory, the district will be able to test over 30 per cent more samples a day and it can reduce its dependence on NIMHANS in Bengaluru. 

Mysuru has its lone testing lab Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the city’s KR Hospital. Earlier, the lab was given a much-needed capacity addition from CSIR Central Food Research Laboratory, which gave two PCR machines to the lab. 

With the latest addition from DFRL, the lab has become a classic example of what can be achieved when premier institutes join hands with the district machinery.

The mobile lab, christened as PARAKH — A Mobile Microbial Containment Lab — was designed during situations like bio warfare, but with the ongoing situation, it was handed over to the district. It has BSL level-three certification for containment, thereby enabling it to test COVID-19 and other similar heavily communicable infections.

It has a RT-PCR machine as well as facilities for storage of biomedical waste. It can even be deployed in a site of emergency since it can operate on battery power. 

The lab was handed over by Dr Anil Dutt Semwal, director of DFRL to KR hospital at a formal event on Monday. According to MMCRI dean Nanjaraj CP, an extra 200-300 samples can be tested in addition to the 400-450 samples being tested at VRDL a day.  


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