NCCS tests over 10000 samples
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DBT’s NCCS tests over 10000 samples for COVID 19 in 10 week

The Department of Biotechnology’s Pune based institute, the National Centre for Cell
Science (NCCS) began testing samples for SARS-CoV-2 on 25th April 2020 to facilitate the ongoing COVID-19 surveillance. NCCS has accomplished a landmark of testing over 10,0000 samples for COVID-19 in the last 10 weeks.

The institute was authorized as a diagnostics center by the DBT, ICMR, and the Maharashtra State Government. Extensive and rapid preparations were made by this government research institution, including repurposing several of its labs to work as a testing center, procurement of materials like PPE and kits, formulating and validating a standard operating procedure (SoP), obtaining technical and also scientific personnel trained at ICMR-NIV for COVID-related biosafety measures and sample testing, registering the center with the appropriate authorities, and also performing mock testing.

NCCS tests over 10000 samples
DBT’s NCCS tests over 10000 samples from Maharashtra for COVID 19: Crosses a major milestone. Image Credits: https://vigyanprasar.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/vigyan_samachar_dbt_01B_20July2020.pdf

Primarily, fewer samples were sent to this center from within the Pune district of Maharashtra. But, with Maharashtra being the most affected state in India, many samples were needed to be tested on a daily basis. Therefore, the center experienced a rise in the numbers of samples received, in early May, and started receiving many samples from various other areas of Maharashtra too. Unalarmed by this task, the team at this center sped up as well as doubled its efforts, frequently testing over two hundred samples each day. this center evaluated its very first 5000 samples within less than a month and a half.

Speeding up efforts additionally, DBT-NCCS tested 5000 more samples in just a month and crossed a major landmark by finishing over 10000 tests in a total of 10 weeks. This was made possible only by the tireless, diligent, and consistent initiatives of numerous scientists and technical and various other staff, who have been functioning long hours, seven days a week.

Moreover, NCCS has additionally supplied advice and help to various other research
organizations, such as IISER-Pune and ARI to establish COVID testing facilities on their
particular campuses. A short video clip shared on the NCCS social media and website offers a glance right into the tasks of the diagnostics team. Updates are additionally uploaded on the website as well as social media sites of DBT-NCCS, to keep the general public abreast of the activities of this testing center.

The prompt and much-needed support supplied by ICMR-NIV, the Armed Forces Medical College, and the B. J. Medical College in Pune, as well as the Directorate of Medical Education And Research, in Mumbai, has actually been vital in effectively initiating and executing the activities at NCCS. The monetary requirements were primarily met through the intramural funds of NCCS from the Government of India, and also partly supported by Lupin Ltd, as well as Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. Dr. Manoj Kumar Bhat, the Director of NCCS, is thankful to the scientific staff, technical team, and their families for their constant support in NCCS’s contribution towards this national cause.

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Author: Sruthi S