Ongoing efforts at Dept of Biotechnology-Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and
Diagnostics (DBT-CDFD), Uppal, Hyderabad to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

Scientists from DBT-CDFD situated in Uppal, Hyderabad Drs. Ashwin Dalal, Murali Bashyam, Rashna Bhandari and Harinarayanan are supervising and providing efficient leadership in this important effort with support from the staff and students of CDFD. Volunteers were trained at CSIR-CCMB and Osmania Medical College Koti, Hyderabad to conduct RNA preparation and RT-PCR analysis of samples received from different regions of Telangana. Subsequent to the Advisory issued by ICMR Department of Health Research on 2nd April 2020, notifying that it has no objection to initiation of COVID-19 testing in laboratories operating under the Department of Biotechnology, CDFD geared up to initiate COVID-19 testing of samples received from notified Government Hospitals in the region and re-organised the infrastructure to create a designated COVID-19 testing laboratory, procured testing kits and personal protective equipment, and trained the manpower. CDFD is thankful to Telangana state officials for their cooperation and support in the form of training of staff, documentation and supply of reagents/kits to initiate of the testing activity at CDFD.

DBT-CDFD started testing of COVID-19 samples from Telangana State on 18th April 2020 after due approval from DBT and ICMR and tested 8156 COVID - 19 nasopharyngeal swab samples as on 13th July 2020.

DBT-CDFD has been nominated by Office of Director, Medical Education, Govt of Telangana along with CSIR-CCMB and ESIC as a centre for pooling of samples from selected districts of Telangana with less than 2% prevalence of COVID positive cases. The districts are Janagaon, Wanaparthy, Rajanna Sircilla, Nagarkurnool, Mahabubabaad, Peddapally, Siddipet, Yadadri, Mulugu, Mancheriyal, Warangal Rural and Narayanpet.