COVID Testing Capacity to Reach to 10 Lakh Tests/Day: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

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Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD Block of AIIMS, New Delhi along with Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (HFW), here today. Prof. R. Guleria, Director, AIIMS and other senior officials of AIIMS were also present on the occasion.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed happiness that the new OPD is named after Smt. Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, renowned freedom fighter and the first Health Minister of the country. Elaborating on the country’s collective efforts against COVID-19, he stated that “gradually we are moving in the direction to win the battle against the pandemic. Less than 2 per cent of the COVID affected patients are admitted in ICUs. Our lab network has been strengthened; we have had exponential growth in the number of labs which have grown from one in Jan 2020 to 1234 today. As on date, we have tested more than 3.26 samples per day”. Dr Harsh Vardhan added that this capacity will be further enhanced to 10 lakh tests per day in the coming 12 weeks. He added that this is matched with progressively increasing recovered cases and the steadily increasing gap between recovered and active cases (2,81,668). This signifies that the measures taken as part of the graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach under the ‘Whole of Government’ strategy is showing positive results.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also directed Director AIIMS and other officials to expedite the operationalisation of the Mother and Child Block, Elderly Block and Surgery Block so that people can reap health benefits at the earliest. He urged officials and Heads of Departments to undertake detailed and collective brainstorming sessions in each department to assess and analyse the innovative steps that can be taken for ensuring that all the patients who come to AIIMS New Delhi get the best quality of healthcare. “There must be zero tolerance for poor/substandard quality of care and towards patients’ inconvenience”, he said. He urged them to brainstorm and propose patient-friendly reforms.

Sh Ashwini Kumar Chaubey thanked the entire team involved in the construction of State-of-the-art New OPD building and hoped that it will definitely boost the patient care facilities. He said that citizens from every nook and corner of the country have faith in AIIMS Delhi as it provides the best quality of care and AIIMS should keep this glorious tradition intact. He expressed high regards for corona warriors who sacrificed their lives in the battle against COVID-19.

The ministers inspected many OPDs and interacted with patients to take stock of the facilities.

Built on an area of approximately 6300 sqm, RAK OPD is the largest known OPD in India. The new RAK OPD Block also has SMART Lab, built at the cost of Rs. 15 cr. This connects the various analyzers and technologies in a single integrated workflow. Here, the pre-analytics; analytics & post analytics are all physically connected by a robotic track and are seamlessly integrated by technology. It has a capacity of expansion up to 2 lakh tests per day, with a handling capacity of more than 10000 patients per day. It is one of the largest such track-based laboratory automation installations across Asia Pacific and has been commissioned in less than one year.

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