After it was announced a nodal laboratory for virus testing on January 31, the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) has successfully installed all necessary infrastructure for testing swab samples for suspected novel coronavirus infection.

IGGMC, popularly known as Mayo Hospital, will be the only hospital for Central India that would cater to Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and most of Madhya Pradesh. Swab samples from these places will be sent to the hospital and tested here only. Reports will come within 48 hours.

Assistant medical superintendent of IGGMCH Sagar Pandey said that the hospital was already having the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine. “On February 4, we received the reverse agent chemical required for novel coronavirus test. On Wednesday, we informed all authorities that the service is now available at IGGMCH. This will reduce the burden on the National Institute of Virology (NIV) lab in Pune. This will also ensure timely results for Central India patients,” he said.

To improve India’s preparedness to deal with coronavirus, the Central government decided to start testing facilities in labs other than the one at NIV, Pune. Apart from Nagpur, similar services have started at Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, NIV Kerala unit in Vandanam town, Kolkata, Secunderabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Chennai.

With the facility available at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai and IGGMCH, Nagpur, Maharashtra is the only state to have two such labs so far.

In Nagpur, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) has created an isolation ward for the suspects. To date, two suspects have contacted the GMCH authorities. One of them was discharged after his reports were found negative. Another middle-aged man has submitted swab samples and is under home isolation. His reports are expected to arrive on Thursday from Pune. Now onwards, all samples will go to the IGGMCH facility.

(With inputs from timesofindia)