The DRDO has established a COVID-19 testing facility at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) in Leh to augment the existing capacity for identification of coronavirus cases in the union territory of Ladakh, according to an official statement.
The testing facility, which was inaugurated by Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur on Wednesday, is capable of screening 50 samples per day, said the statement by the Defence Ministry.
"The facility can also be utilised for training manpower for COVID-19 testing and will be of great help to address future bio-threats and carrying out R&D (research and development) activities pertinent to agro-animals diseases," the ministry noted.
In Ladakh, the virus has infected 1,206 people and killed two people, as per data on the Union health ministry's website. There are 186 active COVID-19 cases in Ladakh as of now, it stated.
Mathur also inspected the testing facility on Wednesday. According to the Defence Ministry, he was briefed about the bio-safety aspect of the testing facility and precautionary measures to minimise cross-contamination and safety of researchers, health professionals and the environment.
The DIHAR is one of the life sciences laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) working on cold arid agro-animal technologies.