The Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) has become the first laboratory in the state to cross 5 lakh Covid-19 tests. The in-charge of the Covid19 laboratory and faculty of the department of microbiology, Dr Santanu Hazra, said they had achieved the feat with the help of team members and administrative support.
The VRDL had also become the first laboratory in the state to cross the 1-lakh mark in August last year. In the same year in June, it had tested 50,000 samples in just 84 days. In October, it had achieved another milestone by crossing the 2-lakh mark.
The laboratory, which enables continuous monitoring of existing as well as new virus strains and functions under the microbiology department, started its journey on 29 March last year. Tests for acute encephalitis syndrome and viral load of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are also conducted through the RT-PCR method under the National Hepatitis Control Programme there.
Equipped with four RTPCR, CBNAAT, TrueNAT, auto RNA extractor, it caters to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri districts, along with parts of Alipurduar district.