Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Citrix R&D India Private Limited are collaborating to support the COVID-19 test facility in the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research (CIDR) at IISc. Citrix is funding a CSR project to the tune of Rs. 30 lakhs to support COVID-19 testing and research labs in CIDR.
CSR support from Citrix was highly beneficial to address the testing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were exclusively utilised towards the testing laboratory operating in the premises CIDR, IISc. The funds were primarily used to procure deep freezers, which were highly beneficial for storing COVID-19 samples, retrospective analysis, newer testing/diagnosis platforms, and epidemiological research. The consumables funds were used to ensure that the testing facility runs without any break and adequate supplies are available for testing of the samples. The support from Citrix was of critical importance in testing the COVID-19 samples collected and sent to IISc by the GoK agencies.
The test centre for COVID19 was established in May 2020 in the Infosys wing of CIDR. It was set up in accordance with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, and with the necessary containment protocols, within a record time of three weeks. The test centre was established with support from IISc and the Government of Karnataka.
As of January 2021, the centre has tested more than 20,000 samples for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The samples are received from the Government of Karnataka. Personnel who work at the facility undergo training for two weeks in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) specific to working with SARS-CoV-2 samples. The tests use RT-PCR kits developed by different companies that have been approved by ICMR. The facility is working continuously, led by IISc faculty members along with several dedicated research staff members.
CIDR carries out research in broad areas of viral and bacterial infections such as H1N1, HCV, HBC, TB and so on.