Mangaluru, April 03, 2020: The laboratory at District Wenlock Hospital has initiated trial for Covid 19 testing, close on the heels of receiving permission from state government.
Doctors, elected representatives and stakeholders had repeatedly demanded that a laboratory should be set up in the port city. Without the lab, the samples were sent either to Shivamogga or to Bengaluru for testing. When Heath Minister Sriramulu had visited Mangaluru on March 17, he had promised a lab in the city for testing of the samples.
Accordingly, the government gave permission for starting the laboratory at Wenlock Hospital. The process of registering the lab with Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) will be completed shortly. The laboratory will be fully operational only after it is registered.
Initially, the lab will not test the throat swab of the patients. It will just test the samples sent by district surveillance wing. At present, the lab has five staff, including Dr Sharath Kumar and Dr Madhusudhan. All the staff have been trained in Hassan and Mysuru. Scientists from NITK-Surathkal, Fisheries College and Mangalore University are extending a helping hand.
Once the laboratory is fully operational, one need not wait for four days to known whether a patient had tested positive for Covid-19. Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr R Selvamani said that Rs 60 lakh was spent on equipment and other requirement for setting up the laboratory.
“We are waiting for the permission from the ICMR for functioning of the laboratory."