Nagpur Rotarians enhance Covid testing facility

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.

From L: IPP Sandip Deshpande, IPS Abhijit Deshpande, PP Sameer Bendre, club president Nishikant Kashikar, project director Virendra Patrikar, DG Shabbir Shakir and District Collector Ravindra Thakare dedicating the extraction equipment at the VRDL, Nagpur.
From L: IPP Sandip Deshpande, IPS Abhijit Deshpande, PP Sameer Bendre, club president Nishikant Kashikar, project director Virendra Patrikar, DG Shabbir Shakir and District Collector Ravindra Thakare dedicating the extraction equipment at the VRDL, Nagpur.

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.

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