Sikkim Chief Minister PS Golay on Thursday inaugurated the state’s first Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, in presence of Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, MP Lok Sabha, senior officials of State Government, senior doctors and medical staff of STNM Hospital, paving the way for conducting tests for samples of COVID-19 cases.

The Indian Council of Medical Research Certified Laboratory has been set up at the STNM Hospital, which is a COVID-19 hospital.

Briefing newspersons after the inauguration, Chief Minister PS Golay said that the laboratory was set up in a record time of 35 days amidst unprecedented challenges and constraints.

Chief Minister Golay also said that the state from now on will not have to depend on other states for COVID tests.

After inaugurating the Laboratory, the Chief Minister inspected the facility in detail. He was briefed about the Laboratory by senior Doctors and Microbiologists.

The lab will have the capacity to conduct 90 tests at a time. Each batch (90 samples) will take five hours to deliver the test results.

The VRD Laboratory will initially be manned by one Microbiologist and two laboratory technicians. Subsequent batches of lab technicians are being trained to replace the present batch in the stipulated time frame.

With the establishment of the VRD Laboratory in the State, samples for Covid-19 will no longer have to be sent to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri, for RTPCR testing.

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