IIT Madras launches mobile COVID-19 testing lab; minister inaugurates vaccination camp

IIT Madras’s mobile Covid-19 diagnostic van can be deployed to rural areas which lack testing facilities

IIT Madras launches mobile COVID-19 testing lab; minister inaugurates vaccination camp IITM: IIT Madras launches mobile COVID-19 testing lab; Tamil Nadu health minister M Subramanian inaugurates vaccination camp
Abhiraj P | Jan 22, 2022 - 3:57 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu health minister M Subramanian today reviewed a mobile COVID-19 diagnostic facility at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. The mobile COVID-19 diagnostic facility called ‘Parakh’ is funded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

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The IIT Madras’s mobile COVID-19 diagnostic facility is housed in a van, which can be deployed to any location for COVID testing. The facility can be utilised to provide COVID testing in rural areas where there is a lack of testing facilities. “The mobile COVID testing facility van can perform sample collection, processing, and analysis, everything in real-time”, said a statement from IIT Madras.

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The COVID-19 vaccination mega camp is being held by the IIT Madras hospital. The vaccines provided are free of cost, and the hospital gets them from the Greater Chennai Corporation. “Apart from regular COVID vaccine shots, booster shots are also given to faculty, and staff”, it said.

Inaugurating IIT Madras vaccination mega camp, M Subramanian said, “I am happy to review this Mobile Diagnostic facility, which can detect diseases and has been gifted to IIT Madras by BIRAC at a project cost of Rs. 50 lakh. This will benefit everyone and is being operated by a large technical team. This vaccination camp will be for the benefit of Faculty and staff of the Institute along with public residing in the area.”

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“The mobile diagnostic facility can be deployed for surveillance of any infectious diseases such as dengue, Tuberculosis (TB) and other kinds of viral outbreaks. It can be further equipped with other portable devices and used for the detection of other diseases and medical conditions. The facility can do testing and analysis in real-time and connect with hospitals and health centres in urban areas. The data can thus be accessed more quickly by health officials and enable a more rapid response”, said Guhan Jayaraman, head of the department of biotechnology, IIT Madras.

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