PU diagnostic lab to charge Rs800 per coronavirus test

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Punjab University on Monday inaugurated a diagnostic laboratory to test samples of suspected COVID-19 patients initially only referred by the Punjab government at Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB).

It is pertinent to note that the facility is not open yet for the public. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad formally inaugurated the laboratory. He said that at the moment, as many as 100 tests of coronavirus suspects would be conducted per day for diagnosis and this capacity would be enhanced by the time.

The VC said that the researchers of CAMB and CEMB had made day and night efforts to set up this laboratory on emergency basis. PU VC said that the domestic COVID-19 diagnostic kit developed by Dr Muhammad Idrees would also be utilized in the laboratory for testing the samples of suspected patients that would be referred by Punjab government.

Special Secretary Health Nadir Chattha assured full support to Punjab University 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. He thanked Punjab University administration and scientists on establishing diagnostic lab and said that PU had been of a big help to the government and the people in this crisis.

Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan said that the total cost of per COVID-19 diagnostic test would be around Rs800. “We were about to receive raw material to be used for preparation of the kits in a day and soon we would produce COVID-19 diagnostic kits on mass scale,” he said.

COVID-19 Lab Incharge Dr Nazim Hussain said that PU has the best laboratory and trained staff to test samples of suspected patients of COVID-19. “Right now we will test samples on real time PCR and soon shift to automation to enhance the capacity of conducting tests per day,” he said.

Special Secretary Health Nadir Chatha, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, Director Centre for Excellence in Molecular Biology Prof Dr Ahmad Ali, eminent virologist Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan, CAMB incharge Dr Aleena, COVID-19 diagnostic lab incharge Dr Nazim Hussain and other researchers were present.