According to an official on Thursday, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has analysed 12 samples of probable Monkeypox cases thus far. The AIIMS Virology Lab is one of 15 labs in the country authorised by the Department of Health Research-Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Speaking to ANI, Dr Lalit Dar, Professor, Department of Microbiology, AIIMS said, “At the Virology Laboratory Department of Microbiology, we have received 12 samples from different states. We have also received samples from Delhi.”
AIIMS, Delhi received samples from Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana so far.
Pertinent to mention, two samples of Delhi tested positive for Monkeypox and both the patients are admitted at LNJP hospital.
“Out of these 12 samples, who have tested positive and they are both from Delhi,” Dr Dar said. He said some of the samples tested positive for chicken pox.
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Notably, the patients who tested positive for Monkeypox in the AIIMS lab do not have any recent travel history abroad.
On the capacity of conducting tests, Dr Lalit said, “Right now we are getting a couple of samples on daily basis, which is not a large number. During COVID, the government augmented the RTPCR testing capacity. For Monkeypox, RTPCR is done. We have the capacity of conducting 400 samples a day depending on requirement and number of patients.”
He further said, “So, far there is really more than enough capacity in the country to do the testing. 15 labs are already authorised by the Department of Health Research, ICMR for testing across the country.”
The laboratory staff in AIIMS, Delhi has received training from ICMR-NIV Pune for conducting real-time RTPCR, biosafety measures, storage and transportation of samples, Dr Lalit said.
The results of testing for Monkeypox come in 24 hours.
“We are giving the report within 24 hours. We usually try to give it on the same day. Even if a sample arrives late in the evening, we still give the report within 24 hours,” he said.
So far, India has documented nine cases of monkeypox, five from Kerala with a history of overseas travel and four from Delhi with no recent travel history.