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COBAS 6800 Testing Machine

  • 15 May 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Union Health Minister inaugurated the first automated coronavirus testing device named ‘COBAS 6800’.

  • This is the first such testing machine that has been procured by the Government for testing of Covid-19 cases and is installed at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Key Points

  • COBAS 6800 is a fully automated, high end machine for performing Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing for Covid-19.
  • It will provide quality, high-volume testing as it can test around 1200 samples in 24 hours.
    • This will largely increase the testing capacity in the country.
  • It is a sophisticated machine enabled with robotics that minimizes the chance of contamination as well as the risk of infection to the health care workers.
  • The machine requires a minimum Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2+) containment level for testing, thus it was placed at the NCDC.
    • BSL2+ covers laboratories that work with agents associated with human diseases (i.e. pathogenic or infectious organisms) that pose a moderate health hazard.
  • The device can also detect other pathogens like Viral Hepatitis B & C, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Papilloma, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, Chlamydia (a bacterial infection), Neisseria (bacteria) etc.

National Centre for Disease Control

  • The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), formerly the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), had its origin as the Central Malaria Bureau, established at Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) in 1909.
  • NICD was transformed into the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with a larger mandate of controlling emerging and re-emerging diseases in 2009.
  • It functions as the nodal agency in the country for disease surveillance, facilitating prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • It is also a national level institute for training specialized manpower for public health, laboratory sciences and entomological services and is involved in various applied research activities.
  • The Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The Institute has its headquarters in Delhi.

Source: PIB

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