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Nagaland in safe hands as CIHSR, Dimapur medical teams trained for Covid-19 diagnosis

(The trainers & trainees pose for lens at ICAR-National Research Centre for Mithun, Medziphema on April 18)

Kohima, April 19 (NE): During an unprecedented global pandemic situation in the country, in an effort to strengthen capabilities to fight against Covid-19 outbreak, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – National Research Centre on Mithun, Medziphema offered a hands-on training on the Real time PCR to the medical team of Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR), Dimapur.

An exclusive report to NagalandExpress said, according to the norm of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the laboratory personnel have to undergo a mandatory training at the designated Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory of ICMR before a particular laboratory is approved as Covid-19 testing centre.

Nagaland is setting up two high-end state-of-the-art biosafety level facilities in Naga Hospital, Kohima and CIHSR, Dimapur for testing suspected Covid19 samples.

Real Time Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real Time RT-PCR) is one of the most accurate laboratory methods for detecting, tracking, and studying coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. In contrast to the conventional RT-PCR which provides results at the end, real time RT-PCR allows to see the results almost immediately while the process is still on. While the method of real time RT-PCR is now the most widely used method for detecting corona viruses, technical skill and support are required in setting up and using the technique.

Hands-on training was organized on the real time PCR and its uses in the detection of nucleic acids. The basic theoretical aspects of real-time PCR including the mechanism and chemistry of detection was explained followed by demonstration for setting up of reaction and running of the machine. The participants handled the mock samples (non-infectious) by themselves.

Emphasis was given on the importance of good laboratory practices (GLP) for minimization of risk in handling an infectious sample in the laboratory. Also, analysis of the result and troubleshooting of different types of problem in the data were highlighted. The different chemistry of detection in real time PCR was also demonstrated along with validation of the results. Besides, the trainees were also taught about sample handling, isolation of RNA, cDNA synthesis as well as quality checking of nucleic acids, the importance of sample quality in the downstream analysis.

A medical team of CIHSR led by Dr Nito Yepthomi attended the training which was co-ordinated by Dr. H. Lalzampuia and Dr. Sosang Longkumer of Mithun Research Institute.

Dr. Sedevi, Director of CIHSR advocated the medical team of CIHSR to undergo hands-on training on Real time PCR before the BSL facility is ready. Dr. Abhijit Mitra, Director, ICAR-NRC on Mithun, Medziphema readily agreed to offer its support and expertise to CIHSR to use the technique, it added.