Dimapur: Nagaland on Saturday got its second virology laboratory when S Pangnyu Phom, State Health Minister inaugurated the Bio safety laboratory level-2 BSL-2 Lab at Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) in Dimapur.
“The lab will enhance COVID-19 testing capacity and help test other diseases in the long run,” said the Minister.
Phom termed it as a significant day for Nagaland because “we could complete two BSL labs under difficult circumstances and within two months.”
With the inauguration of the BSL-2 lab, he said maximum and aggressive testing will be conducted in the days to come.
BSL 3 lab was inaugurated at Oking Hospital in Kohima last month and truant laboratories were also opened in a few districts of the state.
“We were under tremendous pressure from the people. But today, we are happy that the dream is fulfilled. Appreciate all the people involved,” said PHED Minister Jacob Zhimomi, while making a pointed remark on the perceived priority given by the state government to the BSL-3 laboratory in Kohima over the BSL-2 in a more populous Dimapur.
Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Kesonye Yhome also highlighted on the challenges faced to install the lab and also emphasised on the “huge potential” the laboratories hold for the future for research.
The CIHSR Director, Dr Sedevi also emphasised on the potential the facility would serve for research while stating that it will attract scholars to the state.
“The BSL lab is a safe facility for those who work inside and for those who live outside. Everything that goes in is sterilised. People need not be scared. It is extremely safe,” he said.
The BSL-2 will operate RT-PCR of gold standard test for detecting cases of COVID-19 with a sample capacity of 90 in a single run
Till Saturday, a total of 11,158 samples have been tested and the results of 10,197 samples have been received. Out of 11,158 samples, 7715 samples were received at the BSL-3 lab at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) and a total of 6,981 samples have been tested out of which 316 samples have tested positive.
In addition, a total of 4,246 samples have been tested by Truenat machines, out of which 73 samples have tested positive and sent for confirmation by RT-PCR. He further informed that a total of 4,290 persons are presently under facility quarantine.
State health and district administration officials were also present during the inauguration program.