Leaky roofs, short circuit and electric shocks at Microbiology Lab force shifting
Mysuru: Following a short circuit caused by heavy rain in the Microbiology Laboratory of Mysuru Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI), the testing has now been shifted to Government Ayurveda Hi-Tech Panchakarma Hospital on KRS Road, Brindavan Extension.
The state-of-the-art Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the Department of Microbiology in MMC&RI (K.R. Hospital) tested hundreds of samples per day and thus was the only laboratory in southern Karnataka providing COVID test results in the initial weeks of the pandemic outbreak.
It was a centralised laboratory where all the COVID-19 cases in the region were tested. According to MMC&RI Dean and Director Dr. C.P. Nanjaraj, the VRDL laboratory tested samples from seven to eight districts as confirmatory tests are crucial for prevention of the disease spread. However, heavy rains lashing on the city for more than a month has caused the laboratory to leak and it was impossible to function from there, he said.
Rainwater continuously seeps through the roof of the Microbiology Lab that is one of the oldest labs in the MMC&RI. Due to water seepage, electric wires came in contact with rainwater resulting in a short circuit.
“We were forced to stop the RT-PCR tests as it was unsafe for our staff to work in such conditions. Also, many of our personnel suffered mild electric shocks from switches due to water leakage. Even shocks are being felt on the floor due to water seepage,” he said. The short circuit occurred on Tuesday and the entire laboratory set up has been shut.
For three days, temporary arrangements were made at the COVID Lab set up Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) at Government Ayurveda Hi-Tech Panchakarma Hospital on KRS Road.
Now the MMC&RI’s Lab has also been shifted to Government Ayurveda Hi-Tech Panchakarma Hospital on KRS Road as there is ample space there. “That Lab tested over 1,000 samples every day and now an additional 17 of our staff are conducting the tests and in all, we are testing over 3,000 samples every day and the tempo has been regained,” he added.