Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 Back

Guidance for converting academic research laboratory to
COVID-19 testing laboratory (operations, personnel, space organization and workflow)
Based on CCMB's experience

Given its established research activities in viral pathogens and the availability of a BSL3 and BSL2+ facility, CCMB was the first academic laboratory to be designated as a testing centre for COVID-19, as well as the only non-ICMR lab to be designated as a validation centre for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. Following a thorough review of our readiness for performing these tasks safely and effectively, CCMB initiated testing on March 31, 2020. These SOPs incorporate WHO and ICMR best practices as outlined in the Handbook for COVID-19 testing issued by the PSA, Govt of India, and also provides additional details that might be of use to individual institutes. To date, CCMB has tested over 1000 samples.

Overall Operations: Coordinated by Director with a team of senior scientists and a larger advisory team

Personnel: Each step in the testing workflow has a designated coordinator. In addition to a designated team taking care of procurement, interactions with Govt hospitals, State Govt Health Department and CSIR HQ, there is a large group (30+) student volunteers who were trained in BSL3/2 operations.

Space organization: BSL3 and BSL2 facilities in Main Building for receiving samples, virus handling and sample aliquoting for RNA prep, additional BSL2 laboratory in iHUB where semiautomated RNA isolation and RT-PCR analysis are handled. Workflow: is an optimized format developed for safety and convenience in our laboratory space. CCMB scientists will be available to answer questions on any aspect of the operations and workflow for those laboratories that are planning these activities in the current pandemic.

Standard Operating Procedure for COVID-19 testing centre
April 15, 2020

These SOPs are governed by appropriate biosafety protocols and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at each stage.

+ 1. Arrival of sample at the testing centre: (PPE - regular cloth masks and gloves)
+ 2. Storage of samples in cold room:(PPE - surgical gloves)
+ 3. Documentation in BSL facility: (PPE - surgical masks, surgical gloves)
+ 4. Storage of samples and sample lysis: (BSL3, PPE - PPE kit has surgeon gown, hand towel, hood cap, shoe cover, N95 face mask, 2 pairs of nitrile powder-free gloves, goggles and wrapper - approved by ICMR)
+ 5. RNA isolation and RT-PCR: (BSL2, PPE - PPE kit has surgeon gown, hand towel, hood cap, shoe cover, N95 face mask, 2 pairs of nitrile powder-free gloves, goggles and wrapper - approved by ICMR. It is not mandatory to wear the entire PPE kit here though. Only nitrile gloves and surgical face masks can suffice here.)
+ 6. COVID19 Documentation Room: (PPE - surgical masks)
+ Notes/Appendix
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