Rotary Club of Nagpur Downtown, RID 3030, provided a hi-tech, automated RNA/DNA extraction equipment to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Lab (VRDL) at the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College Hospital in Nagpur. The global grant project costing $42,250 was implemented with support from RC Chicago Cosmopolitan, RID 6450, USA and TRF. Persistent Foundation contributed ₹15 lakh as part of its CSR initiative, and Laxmi Constructions gave ₹2 lakh.
The VRDL is the only facility where tests for Covid-19 are conducted for people from Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, said project director Virendra Patrikar, adding that the new device will make the testing capacity at the lab four times faster. “Earlier RNA/DNA extraction was done manually because of which our PCR systems were underutilised, and we could test only 150 samples a day. Now with the sophisticated gadget, we can perform 500–600 tests,” said Dr Ravindra Khadase, who is associated with the VRDL.
The machine was handed over to the lab by District Collector Ravindra Thakare in the presence of DG Shabbir Shakir, IGGMH dean Dr Ajay Keoliya and Sameer Benre, chief people’s officer, Persistent Systems, club president Nishikant Kashikar, Sandip Deshpande, Abhijit Deshpande, club secretary Pratiksha Mayee, treasurer Prajakta Mangrulkar and Vinod Athwale.