VRDL laboratory now provides COVID-19 test reports in 8 hours

Source: TH | Published on 3rd July 2020, 6:39 PM | Coastal News |

MANGALURU: With effective management of load of throat and swab samples, the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at the Government Wenlock Hospital here is now providing COVID-19 test reports within eight hours of collection. Earlier it took more than 24 hours to get the results.

The laboratory has undertaken both external and internal quality tests to ensure precision and accuracy in their results.

“We have re-worked the working pattern at the laboratory to ensure reports are generated within eight hours of collecting the samples,” hospital Superintendent Sadashiva, who is also the District Surgeon,told The Hindu.

The VRDL in Wenlock Hospital started working from April 7. Initially it handled samples from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada and huge sample collection forced its staff work in three shifts for nearly two months. With the change in the testing norms followed by private medical colleges setting up five laboratories in Mangaluru and one in Udupi, the load on the VRDL in has come down. Now the VRDL is handling samples from Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada, Dr. Sadananda said.

Till June 28, the VRDL has conducted tests of 20,130 samples of which 771 were found positive.

To assure accuracy in the reports, 20 negative and positive swab samples are sent every month to the laboratory authorised by ICMR for external quality assessment. Internal quantity test is done on a daily basis, said senior specialist Sharath Kumar and microbiologist E. Madhusudhan.

In all, 16 staff members work in the laboratory, including four new women technicians involved in testing. “These four have now mastered the process of testing,” Dr. Kumar said. Assistant Professor from College of Fisheries Girisha S.K. continues to assist in analysing the result. All the swabs are preserved in freezing temperature for use in future studies.

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