Dulloo inaugurates fully automated COBAS 6800 at GMC-J to increase COVID testing

FC H&ME Department Atal Dulloo after inaugurating an automated COVID testing machine in GMC Jammu.
FC H&ME Department Atal Dulloo after inaugurating an automated COVID testing machine in GMC Jammu.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 1: Financial Commissioner (FC), Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department J&K, Atal Dulloo today inaugurated fully automated testing system COBAS 6800 at Government Medical College Jammu (GMC-J) to increase the RT-PCR based COVID testing in the region.
Installed at a cost of Rs 3.72 crore, this completely mechanized, high-end machine for performing Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests in Real Time for COVID-19, will be able to test around additional 1200 samples in 24 hours. The machine will give high-volume and quality testing.
Speaking on the occasion, the Financial Commissioner said that COBAS 6800 can perform Real-Time PCR testing, the gold standard test to detect the presence of Novel Coronavirus. Further, he said that it is a state of art machine which needs minimal human intervention. “This fully automated machine has been procured keeping in view the COVID testing load and providing quick test reports to the patients,” he said, adding, the training sessions have been conducted for the same.
Dr Shashi Sudan Sharma, Principal GMC Jammu said that along with COVID-19 testing, COBAS 6800 can also be utilized to detect other Pathogens like Viral Hepatitis B and C, HIV, MTb, Papilloma, CMV, Chlamydia, Neisseria or other novel agents. “Tests for the identifying diverse infections can also be run simultaneously,” she added.
Dr Sharma further informed that COBAS 6800 helps future focused labs adjust to the changing healthcare landscape by ushering in a revolutionary new way of thinking about nucleic acid amplification testing-the Molecular Work Area. She said it will provide quality, high-volume testing as it can test around 1200 samples in 24 hours.
“It is a sophisticated machine enabled with robotics that minimizes the chance of contamination as well as the risk of infection to the health care workers. COBAS 6800 frameworks do not need arranging or clustering of tests, reagent readiness or manual set-up of runs,” she added.
Meanwhile, Dulloo interacted with Senior Residents and Post Graduates of the College to know the issues faced by them during COVID times. The SRs and PGs apprised the FC of various issues like district residency program, working of interns, security in wards, electricity, and health insurance for all healthcare workers among other issues. Responding to them, the FC said that security has already been strengthened but it will be further upgraded if the need arises.