Punjab University establishes indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic lab

09:22 PM | 30 Mar, 2020
Punjab University establishes indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic lab

LAHORE – An indigenous COVID-19 (coronavirus) diagnostic laboratory was launched at the Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB), Punjab University (PU), on Monday. Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad inaugurated the lab.

Initially 100 tests per day would be conducted of the coronavirus suspects at the laboratory while a test would cost Rs 800 only. Samples will be tested on real-time PCR [polymerase chain reaction] in the beginning, but the lab would shift to automation in future and it would enhance its per day test capacity.

Eminent virologist, Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan, of the PU has already developed an indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic kit, which would be used for testing samples of the patients, referred by the Punjab government.

Special Secretary Health Nadir Chattha, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, CEMB Director Prof Dr Ahmad Ali, Virologist Dr Muhammad Idrees, CAMB In-charge Dr Aleena, COVID-19 diagnostic lab in-charge Dr Nazim Hussain and other researchers were present.

The PU vice chancellor hailed researchers at the CAMB and CEMB, who had worked on war footing to set up the laboratory. He said the university had state-of-the-art laboratories and it would serve the country at this critical time.

The special secretary healthy promised to extend full support to the Punjab University's scientists for preparation of diagnostic kit and said that the government would provide any other necessary equipment to the laboratory to speed up the pace of work.

Dr Muhammad Idrees said the Punjab University would start production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits on a mass scale soon, adding that they expected to receive raw material for the diagnostic kits in a day's time.