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Nagaland gets its second bio-safety lab as BSL-2 in Dimapur is now operational

By Our Reporter Updated: Jun 27, 2020 7:41 pm
S Pangnyu Phom inaugurates the BSL-2 lab at CISHR Dimapur in the presence of the facility’s director Dr. Sedevi Angami, Jacob Zhimomi, Kesonyu Yhome and other dignitaries on June 27. (Photo courtesy: DPRO Dimapur)

Our Reporter
Dimapur, June 27 (EMN): The much-awaited bio-safety level-2 (BSL-2) laboratory at Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) in Dimapur is now operational following the inauguration of the facility by the minister for Health and Family Welfare S Pangnyu Phom on Saturday.

The new laboratory, which was recently approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research, will now help ramp up Nagaland state’s Covid-19 testing capacity.

After inaugurating the BSL-2 in Dimapur, Nagaland’s second such facility, the Health minister said that in order to achieve the target of ‘maximum and aggressive testing’, the government is working on a war footing to complete the installation of BSL-2 lab in Tuensang district.

According to him, civil works for the Tuensang project were underway and it would be completed by the end of July.

Phom maintained that the government is determined to provide the best facility and has distributed TrueNat machines to all the districts.

He said that ‘despite untold difficulties’, the government has completed setting up of two BSL labs, one each in Kohima and Dimapur, within two months. ‘This in itself is a big achievement for the government of Nagaland as well as the people,’ he added.

The minister informed that as of June 27, at total of 6981 samples have been tested at the BSL-3 lab in NHAK; with a backlog of 734 samples. He said that even though the state has seen steady rise in Covid-19 cases, people should not panic as all the cases were detected at institutional quarantine centres and almost all the patients came from outside the state.

Phom urged the people to follow the standard operating procedures and guidelines issued by the government and assured that under the able leadership of Chief Minster Neiphiu Rio, the government is doing its best.

He also said that despite their best efforts and scarifies, some unfortunate incidents have been reported but assured that the high power committee on Covid-19 activities under the chief minister is committed to resolve any issue.

A real-time RT-PCR machine at Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research in Dimapur. (EM Images)

‘Accuracy and higher capacity’

Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Kesonyu Yhome said that the real-time RT-PCR is the gold standard test for detecting cases of Covid-19.

He said that the advantages of this facility lie in its accuracy of decision as well as ability to test up to 90 samples in a single run. He added that TrueNat and CBNAAT systems have a quick turnaround time of about 30-60 minutes but it has a limitation to test a maximum of 24-28 samples per day.

The secretary also informed that the advantage of having a facility of this nature is not only immediate utility for Covid-19 diagnosis but also for the ‘huge promise’ it holds in the future for a wide array of research works.

Officials of Nagaland government during the inauguration of BSL-2 lab at CIHSR in Dimapur on June 27.
Officials of Nagaland government during the inauguration of BSL-2 lab at CIHSR in Dimapur on June 27. (EM Images)

Minister for Public Health and Engineering Department Jacob Zhimomi said that the government was under tremendous pressure as people demanded BSL lab in Dimapur instead of Kohima. Today it has become a reality, he said.

Zhimomi also unveiled the certificate of accreditation to CIHSR issued by the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Health providers.

By Our Reporter Updated: Jun 27, 2020 7:41:27 pm