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  • 19 June, 2020

  • 5 Min Read



  • The Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated and flagged off India’s first I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for Covid testing in rural and inaccessible areas of India.
  • Expressing his happiness to launch the I-Lab, an infectious disease diagnostic laboratory- a mobile testing facility, Dr Harsh Vardhan dedicated this facility to providing Covid testing access to rural India.
  • This mobile testing facility will be deployed through the DBT testing hubs to remote regions of the country for Covid testing.
  • DBT is scaling-up testing for Covid by reorienting premiere laboratories as Covid testing centres in a hub and spoke model.
  • There are now over 20 hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories and these have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.
  • This has been possible through the DBT-AMTZ COVID Command Consortia (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia) to cope up with the current situation in the country and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
  • The I-lab will be deployed through these hubs into remote and interior place.
  • Today there are 953 testing laboratories in all corners of the country.
  • Dr. Renu Swarup said on the occasion that through the concerted efforts of Indian scientists, the country has achieved a capacity of producing nearly 5 lakh testing kits per day, exceeding the target of having one lakh test kits by May 31, 2020.
  • She pointed out that this I-Lab has been created in a record time of 8 days by the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone team with the support of DBT under the National Biopharma Mission being implemented by the Public Sector BIRAC.
  • She highlighted that the unit has a biosafety facility and is capable of performing RT-PCR as well as ELISA tests.


  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology along with Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD [COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia to address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
  • Under this Consortia, India’s first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in a record time of 8 days from the date of receipt of the Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz.
  • This is a mobile diagnostic unit with a biosafety facility.
  • The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Biochemistry analysers.
  • It can run 50 RT-PCR reactions and about 200 ELISA in a day.
  • Double set of Machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 per day in 8 hours shift
  • It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis and can be put on goods train for sending to any location in the country.
  • The BSL -2 Lab is as per NABL specifications and is being attached to DBT’s certified Testing centres.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science & Technology, promotes and accelerates the development of biotechnology in India, including growth and application of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, animal sciences, environment and industry.

  • AMTZ is Asia's first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated for Medtech and supported by various Ministries.


  • To promote last mile access of testing to rural India, DBT under the Covid-Command strategy has supported the building of mobile testing labs through AMTZ.
  • The unique feature of these mobile testing labs is their utility in diagnosing other infectious diseases beyond the Covid period


  • Automotive Chassis, Diagnostic Equipment, Clean Room, BSL-2 lab, bio-safety cabinets
  • 25 Tests (RT-PCR) per I-Lab per Day
  • 300 ELISA tests/day
  • Additional tests for other diseases for TB, HIV etc. are to be costed as per CGHS rates.

Source: PIB

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