KR Hospital gets advanced COVID-19 testing facility
Called ‘liquid handling system’, results of swab tests done on RT-PCR method can be obtained faster
The RT-PCR testing facility in Mysuru has been expanded with the Department of Microbiology of the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) that runs the VRDL on the premises of K.R. Hospital receiving a new advanced COVID-19 testing facility.
This facility assures faster results of the swab tests done under the PCR method. Maybe, within 24 hours, the results would be made available, sources said.
The VRDL has been carrying out the swab tests using the RT-PCR method since March this year and it has been doing nearly 2,500 swab tests a day. So far, it has done over one lakh swab tests.
The new testing system, also referred to as the “liquid handling system”, has been brought from the Bengaluru Institute of Medical Sciences, which had two such advanced testing equipment. Following a request to the government by the Mysuru district administration over the results of swab samples sent to Bengaluru for the tests taking a longer time, causing hurdles in containing the spread, the new testing device was sent to the MMCRI so as to strengthen the PCR testing and give results within 24 hours.
MMCRI Dean and Director C.P. Nanjaraj told The Hindu that steps had been taken to increase PCR testing and handle 4,000 swabs a day instead of 2,500. “Our lab has now been equipped with the most advanced confirmatory testing system that can step up swab tests, ensuring rapid results,” he explained.
With new guidelines on confining COVID-19 tests under the PCR method instead of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), steps had been taken to ramp up PCR testing across Mysuru with about 4,000 swab tests a day.
“When the new system is fully ready to conduct the swab tests, we can stop sending surplus swab samples from Mysuru to Bengaluru labs for testing. There were some issues as the results were taking some time because of the swab load there too. With the new system, there won’t be any more delay in getting results.”
The number of swab samples tested for COVID-19 has crossed 3.31 lakh mark in Mysuru district and the Microbiology Laboratory of the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) has alone tested more than one lakh swabs. The lab at the MMCRI was in the beginning carrying out tests of samples sent from other districts when they lacked the testing facilities. After the districts, including Kodagu, Mandya and Chamarajnagar, also got the COVID-19 labs, they started doing the tests in their own facilities and the samples sourced from Mysuru district were tested at the MMCRI lab.