Imported COBAS machines to enhance Covid testing in J&K

To enhance the Covid-testing capacity in hospitals, the health department has ordered fully automatic COBAS-6800 machines for three hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The capacity will enhance from 1400 to 2900 tests per day after installation and commissioning of fully automatic COBAS-6800 machines in GMC Jammu, GMC Srinagar and SKIMS Srinagar,” said the MD J&K Medical Supplies Corporation, Dr Yashpal Sharma.

Sharma said that in five new Government Medical Colleges of Jammu and Kashmir including Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri covid

testing machines (TRUNAT) will be provided by the Government of India so that they can handle the suspected cases at local level.

In SKIMS Bemina, the capacity will increase from 500 tests per day to 1000 after installation and commissioning of RtPCR and RNA Extraction machines through Siemens India.

Similarly, in GMC Srinagar the capacity from 1000 to 2000 is being increased with commissioning of the erPCR and RNA extraction machines, and this capacity will increase to 3500 with the installation of COBAS-6800 machine.

The SKIMS Soura has the capacity of 2000 to 3000 with the commissioning of RNA extraction machine, whereas the testing capacity will increase to 4500 per day after the installation of COBAS.

Meanwhile, the health department is also geared up for swab collection of as many as 1 lakh more people in future if need arises, according to Dr Yashpal.

“We have distributed adequate number of laboratory equipments like Viral Transport Medium (VTM) in the field and stocked them in good numbers,” said Dr Sharma. He said that VTM is required to collect sample.

In last 10 days, he said, they have arranged over 1.70 lakhs VTMs for various hospitals of J&K.

“At least 25 ventilators have also been handed to different hospitals in J&K. Out of these 25, 11 ventilators have been given in Government Medical College Jammu and 14 ventilators in Government Medical College Srinagar,” he added.

Sharma claimed there is no shortage of N95 face masks, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, and other things.

Similarly, a total of 1000 big capacity oxygen cylinders have been procured and distributed 500 each in Jammu as well as in Kashmir, whereas 450 small oxygen cylinders provided in Jammu and 550 in Kashmir.

“We have also procured at least 2208 nebulizers. 1015 of them have been given in Jammu and 1193 in Kashmir. 550 patient monitors, portable x-ray machines five each in Jammu, and Kashmir,” said Sharma, while informing that they have also procured 300 infrared thermometers.