On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence unveiled a mobile lab, which will serve as testing facilities for the novel coronavirus disease. In a statement, the Ministry informed that the Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) was completed in just 15 days. It is capable of processing as many as 1,000 test samples per day, it added.
The mobile lab has been jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Hospital (Hyderabad), and private industry.
As per the Ministry, usually, building the lab would take around six months but the MVRDL was built in record time.
DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat built the first Mobile Viral Research Lab.
The containers in which the mobile lab has been set up were provided by iCOMM whereas the base frame was provided by Hi-Tech Hydraulics. The credit for designing and building the labs in record time goes to iClean. The efforts of each of these contributors were acknowledged by the DRDO.
The lab was unveiled by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh through a video conference where he acknowledged the efforts of the Armed forces in setting up quarantine centers, evacuating Indian nationals stuck abroad, providing healthcare facilities, etc.
Several eminent personalities participated in the conference, including G Kishan Reddy (Minister of State for Home) and G Satheesh Reddy (DRDO Chairperson).
In its statement, the Ministry informed that the MVRL is a combination of Bio-Safety Level (BSL) 2 and Level 3 labs. The labs come with built-in electric controls, telephone cabling, CCTV, and LAN.
It has been designed in keeping with the biosafety standards set by the WHO and the ICMR in order to meet the international standards.
According to the Ministry, “The mobile lab will be helpful to carry out the diagnosis of COVID-19 and also virus culturing for drug screening, convalescent plasma-derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients towards vaccine development early clinical trials specific to the Indian population.”
“The lab screens 1,000-2,000 samples per day. This lab can be positioned anywhere in the country, as per requirement”, it added.