In an endeavour to boost testing facility in order to combat COVID-19 cases which are on the rise across the country, the IIT Alumni Council has announced to set up a mega lab in Mumbai. It will have capacity to test 1 crore persons a month.
By next week, the council will identify the corporate partners who will fund the ambitious project through a global competition. The selection will be done by an independent jury, a PTI report said.
Earlier this month, Council had launched ”Covid Test Bus” in the city. The council said trials have already begun on two of the supercomputer clusters in the megapolis, which alone has seen over 35,000 cases of the close to 1.58 lakh in the country and nearly 2,000 of the over 4,700 deaths so far.
As vaccine for COVID-19 is no longer in the sight, the testing capacity has emerged as the major hurdle to prevent community infection. The focus of the mega lab is to ensure timely testing.
“The IIT Alumni Council has decided to set up the largest genetic testing laboratory for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases after consulting global experts in the areas of virology, RT-PCR machine manufactures, test kits, pooling algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and microfluidics.
“A dedicated team has already started the work on designing the MegaLab Mumbai with a capacity of 1-crore RT-PCR tests per month,” said Ravi Sharma, president of the IIT Alumni Council.
“The MegaLab will be based on the end-to-end Kodoy indigenous technology stack and will have adequate capacity for testing the entire population of Mumbai for other infectious diseases, once a month,” he said.
The lab will have an initial capacity for 10 lakh tests, which will go up to 30 lakh tests in the next 30 days and 60 lakh tests by the 100th day or the third phase, Sharma added.