Coronavirus in Pune: City-based IISER adds to testing capacity; tests 11,000 COVID-19 samples
Coronavirus in Pune: City-based IISER adds to testing capacity; tests 11,000 COVID-19 samples

As the COVID-19 pandemic cases kept on increasing in the city, increasing the testing capacity became essential. It was then Pune based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research took on the task to help the residents by establishing a COVID-19 testing facility. The centre has tested near about 11,000 samples so far.

The update was shared by the official Twitter account of the institute.

IISER testing centre began its activities from May 21, 2020. On June 19, IISER was joined by a group of faculty members from Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).

Preparations for setting up the Centre began in full swing sometime in mid-April. A small group led by a few faculty members in the biology department assessed the feasibility and established the required physical infrastructure.

Following approval from the Apex Committee of the institute for this activity, a call for technically qualified volunteers with diverse skill sets from within the institute was sent out for carrying out various aspects of the testing.

Standard Operating Procedures were drawn up with help and inputs from mentor institute Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), National Institute of Virology (NIV), and the National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS).

At the launch of the centre, IISER Pune Director Prof Jayant Udgaonkar had said, "The testing facility is now being run with volunteers who have been properly trained, and I am sure that it will become one of the more efficient testing facilities in the country."

During the days leading up to the commencement of the centre's activities, the team has arranged for multiple mock drills and volunteer training sessions with help from officials from the NIV.

The COVID-19 count in Pune city increased by 1,506 in the last 24 hours to reach 55,761 while the death toll rose by 23 to touch 1,335, an official said on Saturday.

He said 1,791 patients were discharged post-recovery during the day as well.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 9,601 new COVID-19 cases and 322 deaths, taking the state's count of coronavirus cases to 4,31,719.

The active cases in the state stand at 1,49,214 while 2,66,883 people have recovered from the infection.

"Maharashtra reported 9,601 COVID-19 cases and 322 deaths on Saturday, taking total cases to 4,31,719 including 2,66,883 recoveries and 15,316 deaths. The number of active cases stands at 1,49,214 out of which 46,345 cases are in Pune," said State Health Department.

Recovery rate in the state is 61.82 per cent while the death rate is 3.55 per cent.

(With inputs from PTI)

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