Kohima, May 14: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) New Delhi has approved the first ever Bio-Safety Laboratory (BSL-3) for testing of suspected cases of COVID-19, said a senior official on Thursday.
“Approval received (for BSL-3) from ICMR based on validation of documentations and quality control test run,” Nagaland Health and Family Welfare (HFW) Secretary, Kesonyu Yhome told media persons here this evening.
Nagaland government started setting up the much needed lab at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) from April 17 last while all protocols were reportedly completed on May 12 and documentations for validation by ICMR New Delhi was sent the same day.
Though Nagaland has not reported any single positive case till date, with no lab testing facility in the State the suspected samples are sent to Assam and Manipur for testing.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, a total of 891 samples were sent for testing, out of which results of 873 have been negative while results of 18 samples are awaited, stated an update from HFW Department.
ICMR, Dew Delhi has given the approval for the functionality of the first ever such lab in the State, but conduct of test of suspected samples of COVID-19 is yet to begin due to unavailability of reagents – a substance or mixture for use in chemical analysis or other reactions.
“Testing of the clinical samples for COVID-19 can begin as soon as reagents are supplied by ICMR,” Yhome said.
ICMR has not given any tentative date, he said, while expressing hope that it would not be ‘unduly long’.
Yhome also informed that civil works for setting up of BSL-2 at Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research, Referral Hospital Dimapur is also in progress. (Page News Service)