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ICMR partners India Post for delivery of COVID-19 testing kits to labs

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New Delhi, May 7 (PTI) India Post has entered into a tie-up with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for delivery of its COVID-19 testing kits to 200 additional labs designated for coronavirus testing across the country, an official statement said on Thursday.

Nodal officers have been identified from both the agencies — Department of Post and ICMR for each regional depot to ensure smooth operations.

“Indian Council of Medical Research has set a target of carrying out around 1 lakh tests across the country per day. For this crucial work, India Post with its vast network of 1,56,000 post offices has once again turned into a COVID warrior,” the statement said.

Delivery of kits to all parts of India has become a top priority, it said, adding that government is taking all measures to ensure timely delivery of the testing kits.

While continuing to reach money to people’s doorsteps through Aadhaar enabled Payment System, India Post has entered into a tie-up with ICMR for delivery of its COVID-19 testing kits from its 16 regional depots to the 200 additional labs designated for COVID testing across the country, it said.

Once the kits are received at these 16 depots (located in 14 postal circles/states), they have to be distributed to different labs in the same or neighbouring states.

The circles have made necessary arrangements with timelines for the priority transportation of the consignments to the concerned laboratories either as per the existing system or new arrangements depending on the requirement and have communicated the same to the ICMR nodal officers.

The delivery information is shared with the labs on daily basis through WhatsApp.

“A Google spreadsheet has been shared with all nodal officers to update the details of booking and delivery of the testing kits to flag any operational glitches,” it added.

India Post has delivered consignments in Kolkata, Ranchi, Patna, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Jaipur, Imphal and Aizawl, amongst others.  These kits are being delivered packed in dry ice, the statement said.

Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “I appreciate this renewed commitment and partnership between ICMR and Department of Post. India Post has been delivering mails, medicines, financial assistance at doorsteps and even distribution of food and ration to needy during lockdown.”

He added the postman of India Post has risen to the occasion and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation during these challenging times. Prasad also called upon the department to leave no stone unturned in making timely delivery of medicines, testing kits and other medical equipment.

The release further noted that the staff of India Post is working round the clock to ensure timely deliveries.

“In fact, rising to the call of duty, deliveries are being made even at 11:30 pm. India Post is committed to ensure that the delivery of kits is made as per requirements even in far flung areas like Zoram Medical College, Meghalaya,” the statement added.