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New Delhi, July 24, 2020
The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has established a COVID-19 testing facility at the Leh-based laboratory Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) to enhance the rate of testing to identify coronavirus cases in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
The testing facility will also help in keeping a close watch on the infected persons. The facility meets the safety standards and guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official press release said.
The centre was inaugurated by Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur on July 22.
The testing facility is capable of screening 50 samples per day. The facility can also be utilized for training manpower for COVID testing and will be of great help to address future bio-threats and carrying out R&D activities pertinent to agro-animals diseases, the release said.
In his address, Mathur lauded the efforts of DRDO in fighting COVID-19 and thanked Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO for making this facility available at DIHAR. He expressed hope that the facility will help in the treatment of infected persons.
The Lieutenant Governor also inspected the testing facility. He was briefed about the bio-safety aspects of the testing facility and precautionary measures to minimize cross-contamination and safety of researcher, health professionals and the environment.
Dr O P Chaurasia Director DIHAR, Brig J B Singh Commandant, Dr Padma Gurmet, Director, NRISR, Leh, Dr Mutup Dorjey, CMO along with his team of doctors from SNM Hospital, Leh and other senior army officials and DRDO scientists were present on the occasion.
DIHAR is one of the life sciences laboratories of DRDO working on cold arid agro-animal technologies. The laboratory is screening and identifying the medicinal and aromatic plants to exploit them for use for defence purposes and also working on greenhouse technologies for high altitude and cold desert areas.