First women laboratory in Surat started in Covid-19
SURAT: As wives, mothers and daughters, they have families to look after. But this group of 80, dressed in PPE kits, is silently working round the clock, leading the battle against Covid-19.
Meet the team of microbiology department at the Government Medical College (GMC) that conducts RT-PCR testing of New Civil Hospital (NCH) and samples collected from outside as well.
Female scientists not only lead this laboratory but 80 out of 90 staff members here are women.
It was the first laboratory in the region and one of the three in Gujarat that was started with the onset of Covid-19 induced pandemic. And even now it is handling 1,000 tests per day, operating 24 hours.
The team has carried out over 2.75 lakh tests since March 2020. Around 10 of the female staffers even got infected due to Covid-19 but resumed work soon after recovery.
“During peak we used to receive 3,000 samples daily. But we managed it with better coordination and worked as a team. We will continue our efforts,” said Pooja Patel, a research scientist at the laboratory.
“The work was divided into teams and our families supported us in tough times. Many staff members worked long hours to support each other,” said Monika Patel, a research assistant.
During the first wave last year, the team conducted 1.39 lakh tests while during the second wave that hit this year, the team conducted 1.36 lakh tests.
“We cannot close the laboratory since we receive many samples in the evening. We conduct the tests during night and deliver the reports next morning,” said Dr Neeta Khandelwal, professor and nodal officer for Covid testing lab, NCH.
“Many of our team members have kids. But they have not taken leave. They have continued work while taking all the precautions to keep their families safe from infection,” said Dr Summaiya Mullan, head of microbiology department, GMC.