Kochi: COVID diagnosis has become easier in Ernakulam district with the installation of the real-time polymerase chain reaction laboratory (PCR lab) at the Kalamassery Medical College Hospital.
With the facility, results of the tests to diagnose coronavirus infection could be available within two and a half hours. Two units of the lab has been set up at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore.
The medical college has been depending the National Institute of Virology's Kerala unit in Alappuzha for the tests. The district administration, along with the medical college, set up the PCR labs to avoid the delay in getting results from the Alappuzha unit.
As many as 180 samples could be tested at the labs a day. Doctors who received special training during the Nipah outbreak will be in charge of the labs.
P T Thomas MLA has allotted a sum of Rs 27.57 lakh from his development fund for buying biosafety cabinets for the lab. Hibi Eden MP has bought test kits worth Rs 36 lakh.
The lab could be used for other virus tests also with the permission of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).