Mumbai, November 12, 2020: Mirae Asset Foundation has increased the COVID-19 testing capabilities of two premier institutions, at Mumbai and Thane. MAF has donated one RNA extraction and one RT PCR machine and a laboratory freezer to the Haffkine Institute, Mumbai and one RNA extraction machine to the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa, to support the two institutions in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The total cost of the machines is approximately Rs 60 Lakh. Also made available are 2400 viral extraction test kits to ensure seamless processing of testing capabilities.
The 120-year-old Haffkine Institute of Research & Training, CSTM Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Medical College Kalwa serve the healthcare needs of the people in Palghar, Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai-Virar, Roha and NMMC region, Thane, Diva, Mumbra, Kharghar andThane Urban surrounding areas. These areas are among those that reported high incidences of COVID-19 cases.
The fully-automated machines minimise chances of secondary infections for lab personnel while increasing the number of test results on a daily basis. The machines have a capacity of conducting 144 tests per day in an 8-hour shift at each of the institutions, with results that are now available much faster.
Presently at Haffkine’s, this infrastructure addition increases throughput by 50 per cent. From 200 tests per day, it can increase to 300 with optimum usage of resources. Currently, at Kalwa, 192 tests are manually processed, and with this technology addition, it would increase to 336 tests a day.
Mirae Asset Foundation is a Mumbai-based not for profit charitable organisation registered as a Section 8 company in 2018, and part of the Mirae Asset Financial Group’s CSR activities. It primarily works across several areas of educational development in India. In line with the objectives of its parent, Mirae Asset Park Hyeon Joo Foundation in Korea, its charitable work in India ranges from providing scholarships for students at all levels of education to working on educational initiatives with institutional partners such as schools, colleges, government agencies, civil society organisations and other entities.
Ritesh Patel, Director of Mirae Asset Foundation says, “It is a small gesture towards a massive initiative, but we believe in this scenario every little bit can go a long way. Staff at the Haffkine Institute and CSTM Hospital, Kalwa, has been bravely doing their best to control the cases of COVID-19 in their area. We trust this state-of-the-art testing infrastructure will assist them in their fight against the pandemic as well as all other communicable diseases.”
The Director of Haffkine’s and the Dean of CSMH at Kalwa have been endeavouring to increase their testing capabilities and their capacity to process and report while keeping their staff safe. This programme has been undertaken with inputs from Dr Priya Abraham, Director of the National Institute of Virology who advised prioritising testing and diagnosis as the strategy to curb the spread. At Haffkine Institute, support of the outgoing Director Dr Rajesh Deshmukh, IAS and the present Director Shaila A, IAS, as well as the Director-in-Charge, Seema Vyas, IAS, all of whom provided seamless coordination as also the Commissioner, Dr Vipin Sharma, IAS of the Thane Municipal Corporation, ensured the fulfilment of the Mirae Asset Foundations’ COVID-19 health systems strengthening initiative.