With the increasing demand for COVID-19 testing in Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura COVID-19 centre capacity has been increased with the DoCM rt-PCR equipment. The public health research laboratory of DoCM was equipped with a Biorad CFX96 real-time PCR system with 5-channel multiplexing capability. The rt-PCR system was a part of ongoing ICIDR Project on Leptospirosis, a collaborative research between Yale University and Rajarata University. (Read more on ICIDR project here) (Details of the main grant can be found here)
This rt-PCR was offered for COVID-19 diagnostics in early March, as soon as the first few cases were reported from Sri Lanka. On 12th April, with the request of Dr.Saranga Sumathipala, the rt-PCR system was added to the Anuradhapura COVID-19 center diagnostic facility, doubling it’s capacity. At present, DoCM is engaged in the COVID-19 control programme through health education/promotion, contact tracing and community followup of test negative patients, model building and predictions for policy and diagnostics.