Rajnath Singh unveils DRDO developed Mobile Laboratory to test COVID19 samples

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday unveiled via video conference a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by DRDO in association with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad and Private industry.

Speaking on this occasion, Singh said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several timely decisions because of which the spread of COVID-19 in the country is far less compared to many other countries.

He appreciated the setting up of this Bio-Safety Level 2 and Level 3 lab in a record time of 15 days which usually takes about six months’ time. Singh said this testing facility which can process more than 1,000 samples in a day will enhance country’s capabilities in fighting COVID19.

He said our Armed Forces are contributing in many ways – such as setting up of quarantine centres, providing healthcare facilities, evacuating Indian Nationals from other countries etc – to fight COVID19 and these efforts will continue.

The first of such Mobile Viral Research Lab (MVRL) that will speed up COVID-19 screening and related R&D activities was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad based laboratory of DRDO in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad, according to official release.

The Mobile Viral Research Lab is the combination of a BSL 3 lab and a BSL 2 lab essential to carry out the activities. The labs are built as per WHO and ICMR Bio-safety standards to meet international guidelines. The system has built in electrical controls, LAN, Telephone cabling, and CCTV, it said.

The Mobile Lab will be helpful to carry out diagnosis of COVID-19 and also virus culturing for drug screening, Convalescent plasma derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients towards vaccine development early clinical trials specific to Indian population. The lab screens 1000-2000 samples per day. This lab can be positioned anywhere in the country, as per requirement, the statement said.

DRDO acknowledged the contributions of M/s iCOMM for provision of containers, M/s iClean for design and build of the BSL2 and BSL3 labs in a time bound manner, and M/s Hi Tech Hydraulics for providing the base frame.