Bengaluru: Two institutes will test for Coronavirus samples from today

Bengaluru: Two institutes will test for Coronavirus samples from today

Representative image. (Credit: iStockPhoto)

Two city-based institutes are now fully equipped to test samples of coronavirus, which the state health department has so far been sending to the National Institute of Virology at Pune.

Now, samples of patients suspected to have contracted coronavirus can be sent to the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute and a branch of the National Institute of Virology located near Nimhans. Both are fully equipped to test for the virus.

Dr Prakash Kumar, joint director, communicable diseases, said the labs are being upgraded to test the samples. “The staff had to be trained to do the tests. We have also procured kits necessary (for the testing). We will begin the tests tomorrow,” said Dr Kumar. Upgrading the two city labs would cut down the time taken for the testing from two days to just one.

Since January 20, the state has screened 4,367 flyers, three of whom had a history of visiting Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.

The results of one patient currently admitted to the isolation ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases are pending. This patient was screened at the airport and found to have symptoms.

According to Dr Kumar, seven other patients reported the symptoms to the department of health and family welfare, though they did not visit China. “Their results are pending as well,” he said.