A new Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) was declared open on 28 April 2020 by Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Director-General of Health Services.
The new Laboratory was made possible due to funding and pledges received from private sector donors Melstacorp PLC, John Keells Holdings PLC, Deutsche Bank and South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd as well as the Welfare Society of the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation and Mr. Shammi Silva who were represented at the opening.
The laboratory was established to meet the urgent need to increase the testing capacity of Sri Lanka following the Covid-19 outbreak. A temporary lab facility was originally established at the IDH and operational from 29th March 2020 until the more permanent facility was commissioned. This facility is expected to be further enhanced in the future.
The establishment of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in situ at IDH has facilitated testing capacity, reduced the test turnaround times and also improved clinical management of patients being treated at IDH as it enables tests to be processed within IDH itself. The Laboratory will also help prevent possible biohazards surrounding the disposal and transportation of infectious materials while enabling the prompt discharge of individuals who have been tested negative.