At a time when the RT-PCR test results are getting delayed in the district due to dearth of laboratory facilities, the Wayanad district panchayat is preparing to set up a modern laboratory here to avoid the delay .
“Now the RT-PCR tests are being conducted at the virology laboratory of the Health department in Sulthan Bathery and a newly set up laboratory of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University headquarters at Pookode in the district. But, it would take at least four to five days to get the test results and the delay in getting the results is the major concern of the public,” District Panchayat President Shamsad Marakkar told The Hindu.
“Hence, we are planning to address the issue by setting up the laboratory at a cost of ₹50 lakh to provide the test results in 24 hours to the public,” Mr. Marakkar said.
Apart from a Real Time PCR System, the laboratory would be equipped with an RNA extraction equipment and other modern apparatus for the purpose, he said. The RNA extractor would be helped to conduct RT-PCR tests for around 300 people in an hour, he said.
Once the laboratory begins functioning in three shifts a day, around 4,000 tests could be conducted a day, he said. The facility could also be used for diagnosing zoonotic disease like Kyasanur Forest Disease or mMonkey fever, a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys and a major threat to the people living on the fringes of forest in the district, he said.
A meeting of the civic body had allotted ₹50 lakh for the purpose and the lab would be up and running in a week, Mr. Marakkar said.