The CSR arm of Mirae Asset Financial Group has increased the COVID-19 testing capabilities of 2
premier institutions in Mumbai and Thane.
Mirae Asset Foundation (MAF) has donated 1 RNA extraction and 1 rt PCR machine and a laboratory
freezer to the Haffkine Institute, Mumbai and 1 RNA extraction machine to the Rajiv Gandhi Medical
College & Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa, to support the two institutions in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total cost of the machines is approximately Rs 60 lakh. Also made available are 2400 viral
extraction test kits to ensure seamless processing of testing capabilities.
The 120-year-old Haffkine Institute of Research & Training and CSTM Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi
Medical College Kalwa serve the healthcare needs of the people in Palghar, Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai-
Virar, Roha and NMMC region, Thane, Diva, Mumbra, Kharghar and Thane Urban surrounding areas.
These areas are among those that reported high incidences of COVID-19 cases.
The fully-automated machines minimise chances of secondary infections for lab personnel while
increasing the number of test results on a daily basis. The machines have a capacity of conducting
144 tests per day in an 8-hour shift at each of the institutions, with results that are now available much faster.
Presently at Haffkine’s, this infrastructure addition increases throughput by 50 per cent. From 200
tests per day it can increase to 300 with optimum usage of resources. At Kalwa, 192 tests are
manually processed; with this technology addition, it would increase to 336 tests a day.
Mirae Asset Foundation is a Mumbai-based not for profit charitable organization registered as a
Section 8 company in 2018, and part of the Mirae Asset Financial Group’s CSR activities.
Ritesh Patel, Director of Mirae Asset Foundation says, “It is a small gesture towards a massive
initiative, but we believe in this scenario every little bit can go a long way. Staff at the Haffkine Institute and CSTM Hospital, Kalwa, have been bravely doing their best to control the cases of COVID-19 in their area. We trust this state-of-the-art testing infrastructure will assist them in their fight against the pandemic as well as all other communicable diseases.”
The Director of Haffkine’s and the Dean of CSMH at Kalwa have been endeavouring to increase their
testing capabilities and their capacity to process and report while keeping their staff safe.
This programme has been undertaken with inputs from Dr Priya Abraham, Director of the National
Institute of Virology who advised prioritising testing and diagnosis as the strategy to curb the spread.
At Haffkine Institute, support of the outgoing Director Dr Rajesh Deshmukh, IAS and the present
Director Mrs Shaila A, IAS as well as the Director-in-charge Ms Seema Vyas IAS, all of whom provided
seamless coordination as also the Commissioner Dr Vipin Sharma, IAS of the Thane Municipal
Corporation ensured fulfilment of the Mirae Asset Foundation’s COVID-19 health systems
strengthening CSR initiative.
By Murtuza Merchant