CSIR, Tata MD to expand Covid-19 testing facilities across India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 18, 2021

RT-PCR CRISPR test to be conducted using Tata MD CHECK SARS-CoV-2 test

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata MD, the new healthcare venture from the Tata Group, entered into a partnership to ramp up the Covid-19 testing capacity across Tier 2 and 3 towns as well as rural areas across India, an official statement said on Friday.

This is being done keeping in mind the need for increasing capacity to deal with any future surge in Covid-19 testing requirements, it said.

Also read: CSIR-IICT ties up with Anthem Biosciences to make anti-Covid drug 2-DG

The initiative will utilise CSIR’s network of labs across India and help increase India’s testing capacity in smaller locations in the country. CSIR and Tata MD will jointly develop the testing capacity and the RT-PCR CRISPR test will be done using the Tata MD CHECK SARS-CoV-2 test kits that are powered by FELUDA technology from CSIR-IGIB.

“Apart from vaccination, rapid testing and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 positive persons has emerged as the best strategy in combating Covid-19. This initiative in partnership with Tata MD, to deploy the RT-PCR CRISPR test across multiple CSIR labs spread across the country, is an important step. This will augment the national capacity to test for Covid-19 and detect it locally,” said Shekhar C Mande, CSIR Director General.

Tata MD is also deploying a proprietary 3-room design mobile testing lab that can conduct end-to-end, on-site Covid-19 testing to increase the testing capacity.

“By partnering with CSIR’s network of labs and deploying fully-equipped mobile laboratories, we are confident that we can quickly augment testing capacity using faster and scalable methods. This will significantly enhance the ability of the State and district administrations to ensure wider availability and easier access to testing on an on-going basis,” said Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO and MD of Tata Medical and Diagnostics.

Significantly, 13 CSIR labs have been engaged in carrying out RT-PCR testing during the Covid-19 pandemic and this partnership between CSIR and Tata-MD is aimed at expanding the testing capacity further over the next few months by deploying the Tata-MD CHECK testing via the vast network of 37 CSIR labs spread across the country.

The first CSIR lab to go live with Tata MD is located at CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun. “We are happy that CSIR-IIP is the first CSIR lab to launch this initiative and the current testing capacity will be 800 daily tests that can be scaled up using the Tata MD CHECK automation solution, if demand rises significantly,” said CSIR-IIP Director Anjan Ray.

Published on June 18, 2021

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