Nagaland’s first Covid-19 testing lab to be inaugurated on May 21
Kohima, May 20 (EMN): The much-awaited biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) virology laboratory at Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK), now Covid-19 hospital, will be inaugurated on Thursday, May 21 at 11 am.
Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio will inaugurate the state’s first virology laboratory.
The minister of Health and Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom, took to social media to inform this. “We are all set to inaugurate the long awaited BSL-3 Lab at NHAK, Kohima tomorrow at 1100 hrs. We express our gratitude to all for supporting us to reach thus far,” he tweeted.
The BSL-3 at NHAK was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) based on validation of documentation and quality control test run, on May 14 but conducting clinical sample test for the novel coronavirus was due, as it was awaiting ICMR to supply the virology lab with reagents.
[Also read: Kohima virology lab gets ICMR approval]
Amid public outcry to set up Covid-19 testing labs in the state, the government of Nagaland announced earlier last month that two BSL labs, one each in Kohima and Dimapur, would be constructed soon. The equipment for the lab at Kohima was airlifted by an Indian Air Force aircraft on April 16, before the construction work began on war-footing.
The High Court, Kohima Bench, had on April 28 set a 10-day deadline to make the BSL labs functional. However, the court extended the deadline for the Kohima lab by five days starting from May 8 and within two weeks for the Dimapur testing unit after the department of Health and Family Welfare moved it.
The Health department announced on May 14 that the BSL-3 lab at Kohima had received green signal from the ICMR. The lab is now all set for inauguration, while the construction of BSL-2 lab at CIHSR, in Dimapur is said to be in progress.