The initiative will utilise the CSIR’s network of 37 labs across India. Besides using the existing RT-PCR CRISPR test, powered by FELUDA technology, the Tata MD will deploy its mobile testing labs that can conduct end-to-end, on-site Covid-19 testing to increase the capacity.
The company will also deploy automated testing solutions that can increase testing capacity by thousands with no cross-contamination. At present, the RT-PCR CRISPR test is available only in big cities.
“This initiative in partnership with Tata MD, to deploy the RT-PCR CRISPR test across multiple CSIR labs spread across the country is an important step. This will augment the national capacity to test for COVID and detect it locally,” said Shekhar C Mande, director general, CSIR — India’s apex scientific research organisation.
The first CSIR lab which will go live with Tata MD is located at CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun in Uttarakhand.
“We are happy that CSIR-IIP is the first CSIR lab to launch this initiative. The current testing capacity of 800 daily tests can be scaled up using the Tata MD CHECK automation solution if demand rises significantly,” said Anjan Ray, director, CSIR-IIP.
Thirteen CSIR labs have already been engaged in carrying out RT-PCR tests during the Covid-19 pandemic. The partnership between CSIR and Tata MD is aimed at expanding the testing capacity further over the next few months.
The CSIR’s vast network of 37 labs is spread across the country from CSIR-IIIM in Jammu in North to CSIR-NIIST in Thiruvananthapuram in South and CSIR-CSMCRI, Bhavnagar in West to CSIR-NEIST Jorhat in North-East.