Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi has signed an MoU with Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital, Himachal Pradesh on 11 April 2020 with the objective of providing significant support in the battle of Covid-19 to Himachal Pradesh. Under this, the institute has extended help to set up a real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) lab at Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital to check for coronaviruses. IIT Mandi has also ensured the availability of some other equipment and trained personnel including a real-time PCR machine to Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital.
The aim is to set up real-time PCR reactors and perform data analysis, which is one of the critical stages of the investigation after the separation of Ribonucleic Acid (RNA). This state-of-the-art device is only for diagnosis of Covid-19 and will accelerate the investigation by analyzing 100 samples on continuous use for 24 hours. As per the requirement, it will increase the capacity to test 1000 Covid-19 samples per day. SLBSGMCH will start the analysis of samples of Covid-19 from this machine after approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research.
IIT Mandi will also conduct a real-time PCR setup and data analysis training session for SLBSGMCH. With the goal of diagnosing Covid-19, all PCR lab work will be carried out by mutual consent and each organization will appoint a coordinator under whose supervision the diagnostic facilities will be available. As per the instructions of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, all classes and other activities of the students of IIT Mandi have been closed till further notice.