New Delhi: Defence research & development body DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) has established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing facility at its Leh-based laboratory DIHAR (Defence Institute of High Altitude Research) to enhance the rate of testing to identify the Corona cases in the Union Territory of Ladakh. The testing facility will also help in keeping a close watch on infected persons. According to a press release from the Ministry of Defence, the facility meets the safety standards and guidelines of ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). The centre was formally inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur on July 22.
The testing facility at DIHAR is capable of screening 50 samples per day. The facility can also be utilised for training manpower for COVID-19 testing and will be of great help in addressing future bio-threats and carrying out R&D activities pertinent to agro-animals diseases.
In his address, Mathur lauded the efforts of DRDO in fighting COVID-19 and thanked Dr G Satheesh Reddy (Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO) for making this facility available at DIHAR. He expressed hope that the facility will help in the treatment of infected persons.
The LG also inspected the testing facility. He was briefed about the bio-safety aspect of the testing facility and precautionary measures to minimise cross-contamination and safety of researchers, health professionals and the environment.
DIHAR's Director Dr OP Chaurasia, Commandant, Brig JB Singh, NRISR's (Leh) Director Dr Padma Gurmet, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Mutup Dorjey, along with his team of doctors from SNM Hospital, Leh, and other senior army officials and DRDO scientists were present on the occasion.
DIHAR is one of the life sciences laboratories of DRDO working on cold arid agro-animal technologies. The laboratory is screening and identifying the medicinal and aromatic plants to exploit them for use for defence purposes and also working on greenhouse technologies for high altitude and cold desert areas.
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