COVID: UGC asks higher education, research institutes to deploy RT-PCR machines in dist hospitals, labs

NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked higher education and research institutions to facilitate deployment of RT-PCR test machines available with them at nearby district hospitals and government labs conducting COVID-19 tests to aid the fight against the pandemic, officials said on Monday.

The higher education regulator has noted that temporary deployment of such machines can create additional facilities for around 60,000 tests per day.

“In order to address the increasing demand for COVID-19 testing, it is essential that the test centres are strengthened further by addition of more RT-PCR machines. There are large number of machines available with educational and research institutions under various departments and are capable of performing RT-PCR tests and currently, not being used in any critical area,” UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said.

“It has been elucidated that by temporarily deploying such machines in district hospitals and government laboratories, additional testing facilities of about 60,000 tests per day can be created.

“In view of this, all higher education institutions and research institutions are requested to facilitate temporary deployment of machines from the institutes in consultation with the department of health research in district hospitals and government labs performing COVID-19 tests by August 31,” he added.

A single-day spike of 61,408 new cases took India’s virus caseload past the 31-lakh mark on Monday, a day after it crossed 30 lakh, while recoveries surged to 23,38,035, pushing the recovery rate to over 75 per cent, according to the Union health ministry data.

India’s COVID-19 death toll climbed to 57,542 with 836 more fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 3,59,02,137 samples have been tested up to August 23, with 6,09,917 samples being tested on Sunday. (AGENCIES)