Hyderabad: The University of Hyderabad (UoH) has got approval for COVID-19 testing centre under the city containment clusters identified by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India on Friday.
To scale up the testing capacity for COVID-19, Testing centres are established by Research Institutes and Laboratories of Government Ministries and Departments, Universities, IITs, IISERs, and other Institutes of Eminence under Central and State Government.
The cluster in Hyderabad consists of Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD); CSIR-Centre for Cellular Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB); National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB); CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) in addition to UoH. The coordinating institution for Hyderabad is CSIR-CCMB.
The City /Regional clusters of testing centres will serve the city and state in the testing of COVID-19 samples. Institutes and Laboratories which have the capacity and expertise for both Sample collection, handling/processing (BSL-2 facility) and testing (RT-PCR) serve as the hubs and they will involve a number of laboratories which have RT PCR machines and the requisite manpower as their extended Testing facilities.
The Hubs are Government laboratories approved by respective Ministries /Departments (DBT, DST, CSIR, DAE, DRDO, ICAR etc.) as per ICMR guidelines.
UoH will, at the earliest, identify 15 technical personnel for data entry, sample sorting, aliquoting and coordination with other testing labs. It will be ready for testing once the ICMR Approved Testing Kits and required reagents are made available by the coordinating institution in Hyderabad.
The UoH will be conducting these tests at a separate BSL-2 laboratory at CDFD. The volunteers will undergo training for 1½ days at CCMB, before undertaking the actual testing. Volunteers have to be well-trained in handling RNA isolation and performing qPCR and who are willing to undertake the testing at CDFD which will be coordinated by the School of Life Sciences, UoH. The University will provide onward and return transport facility for the technical personnel identified for carrying out the testing.
“I am happy that UoH has been identified as a Testing Centre being a Top Research and teaching University and we have the facilities and manpower to carry out the tests. Our University along with CDFD is geared to effectively handle the laid down procedures for COVID19 testing. It’s a privilege for UoH to be of help to the nation during this testing times”, said Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, UoH.