Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (DBT-IBSD), a National Institute of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India, with headquarters at Imphal and a center at Upper Shillong, has been working with the Meghalaya Health Department to setup a Covid-19 diagnostics facility at Tura, which is more than 300 kms from NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, which is presently the lone Covid-19 testing center of Meghalaya.
IBSD has provided an RT-PCR machine, a refrigerated centrifuge and two deep freezers along with technical support and orientation for the equipment. These have been handed over to the State team of doctors and laboratory technicians, who have also been trained on these equipment for Covid-19 testing at the Microbiology Department of NEIGHRIHMS. Prof Pulok K Mukherjee, Director IBSD, also extended his appreciation to the Meghalaya Health Department for working tirelessly in their battle against Covid-19 and also assured full support from IBSD to the State for any other scientific endeavours in this current Covid-19 crisis.
The Tura facility is being made at Government Civil Hospital. This has come about by online and virtual co-ordination between the teams of Commissioner and Secretary, Health, Govt of Meghalaya and the Director IBSD. Dr Albert Chiang, Scientist of IBSD is coordinating with the Meghalaya Heath Department in this matter. While most of the equipment have been delivered and installed at Tura over the last two weeks, and the Tura facility would be ready to start testing in a few days, DBT-IBSD shared these essential equipment in the earlier interim period, to rapidly fill up the gap brought about by the global supply chain crisis in these equipments and consumables, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the present lockdown. In similar efforts, DBT-IBSD has provided both equipment and consumables support to several Covid-19 testing facilities across the North eastern region, such as JNIMS, Govt of Manipur; RIMS, Imphal, Govt of India; NEIGHRIHMS, Shillong, Govt of India; Zoram Medical College, Govt of Mizoram and Pasteur Institute, Govt of Meghalaya.