On 18th June 2020, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched the I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic laboratory) in New Delhi. This is the first-ever I-Lab in India that was launched. The I-Lab will help in scaling up the testing for COVID-19 across the country. It will be deployed by the Department of Biotechnology in one of its COVID testing hubs. At present there are more than 20 such hubs in the country operating on a daily basis, these hubs have 100 testing laboratories that have conducted above 2,60,000 tests to date.
Objective of the I-Lab
The I-Lab is a mobile testing facility that will be used for collecting samples and testing for COVID-19 across inaccessible areas in the rural regions of the country.
DBT- AMTZ COMMand
Along with Asia’s first medical equipment ecosystem- Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ)- located at Vishakapatnam, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has set up DBT- AMTZ COMManD ( COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development) Consortia for addressing the shortage of technology in the field of health care. The country’s first-ever I-Lab was built in a record time of 8 days at the AMTZ. COVID Testing I-Lab created by the DBT- AMTZ Mobile Diagnostic Unit by Dr Harsh Vardhan
INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY (I-LAB)
The mobile testing facility apart from COVID-19 is also capable of diagnosing other infectious diseases. Some of its features are: Each of these I-Lab can conduct 25 RD-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) Tests every day, 300 ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunoassay) tests and also has the specifications to conduct tests for diseases like HIV, TB, etc. The unique feature of these mobile testing labs is their utility in diagnosing other infectious diseases beyond the COVID period.
The labs are designed in BSL-2 (Bio-Safety Level-2) facility having Diagnostic equipments and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis. The Automotive Chasis (frame of the vehicle) is designed and built by Bharat Benz. COVID Testing I-Lab created by the DBT- AMTZ Mobile Diagnostic Unit by Dr Harsh Vardhan