PGI has established 50 Covid-19 molecular labs in north India. Various labs and medical colleges of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Leh and Ladakh were covered under the programme.
The total includes 16 government medical colleges, eight civil hospitals and 11 private medical colleges, seven defence laboratories and four state testing facilities. Additional testing facilities have been established at GADVASU, Ludhiana, NRDDL, Jalandhar, Punjab biotechnology incubator and Central Forensic Laboratory, Mohali. Covid-19 testing in some of the premier private medical colleges like CMC and DMC, Ludhiana, have also been established under the programme.
Prof Jagat Ram, director, PGI, said “The pandemic posed a big challenge to north India as during the initial phase, very few labs were trained in molecular virology testing. It was a big challenge, but PGI accepted this as an opportunity to upgrade the labs of surrounding and far-flung areas. The department of virology established around 50 Covid-19 testing real time PCR labs.”
Seeking to expand testing facilities, the Indian Council of Medical Research had identified PGI as one of the 14 centres of excellence to mentor all government and private medical colleges in their catchment areas to create state-of-art molecular virology setups.