Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated the COBAS 6800, first of its kind, testing machine at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to the nation on 14 May. GoI has procured such testing machines for testing of COVID-19 cases for the first time. It is installed at NCDC.
The COBAS 6800 is a fully automated, high-end machine for performing Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for COVID-19. The machine will provide high-volume and quality testing and will be able to test around 1200 samples in 24 hours. This will help to increase the testing capacity in the country.
Highlighting the achievements in ramping up the testing capability, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, government has now developed a capacity to conduct one lakh tests per day. He said, we have tested nearly 20 lakh tests for COVID-19 mark at more than 500 laboratories including 359 Government laboratories and 145 private laboratories in the country.
The machine has been placed at the NCDC because it requires a minimum BSL2+ containment level for testing, and cannot be placed at just any facility. COBAS 6800 can also reportedly detect other pathogens like Viral Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mtb, Papilloma, CMV, Chlamadiya, Neiserreia, etc.