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Jharkhand govt mulls Covid-19 labs in all districts

Will help tackle pandemic better: health official
Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)

Vijay Deo Jha   |   Ranchi   |   Published 03.05.20, 09:08 PM

The Jharkhand government is keen to set up advanced virology laboratories with full-fledged Covid-19 testing facilities in each of the state’s 24 districts.

For this, the authorities are looking for firms or individuals to develop the labs through the public-private mode. Building such advanced laboratories, however, is a long-drawn process at a time the state is dealing with the spread of Covid-19 cases in the capital and across districts.

In Jharkhand, there are only five centres RIMS (Ranchi), MGM (Jamshedpur), PMCH (Dhanbad), Tata Main Hospital (Jamshedpur) and Itki Arogyashala (near Ranchi) which are equipped to handle Covid-19 tests.

But in the future, the new facilities in every district will benefit the state, especially with faster reports, which will lead to quicker start of treatments even in remote districts.

The state government has authorised the Jharkhand Medical & Health Infrastructure Development & Procurement Corporation Ltd (JMHIDPCL), an ancillary of the health department, to complete the selection process of firms or individuals.

“We have floated the concept on an experimental basis and if it works then it will hugely benefit Jharkhand in terms of health research. We are looking for private companies for which technical, commercial and price bids have been placed. The selected firms or individuals will be responsible for development, operation and maintenance of the virology laboratories with a full-fledged Covid-19 RT-PCR testing facility according to the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research,” said director of JMHIDPCL Prabhat Kumar.

He said they were ideally looking at a virology laboratory in a government hospital in each district.

“It will enhance the number of Covid-19 tests to the maximum without any compromise on protocol or the quality of testing and lead to better management of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also been envisaged that the laboratory will conduct tests pertaining to virology in the hospital. The samples will be collected and picked up from various sites for testing and reporting according to protocol,” said Prabhat.

The JMHIDPCL director said the interested parties or person could make inquiries about the proposal by the afternoon of May 5.

“If there is any clarification or amendment in the proposal it will be informed by next day. Any proposal from parties or person will be accepted till May 10,” he said.

Narsingh Kumar Khalkho and Pratik Mittal have been empanelled as experts on behalf of the JMHIDPCL to reply to queries, he added.


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