While coronavirus continues to pose a threat to humankind, efforts are being made to contain the virus as the world faces this pandemic. Currently, there is no cure for novel-coronavirus, which means the only way to contain the widespread of the deadly disease is by testing as many people as possible. With less than 400 confirmed cases for Covid-19 in India, the country ranks the lowest in terms of testing done per million population.
In order to diagnose patients of Covid-19, India had been importing millions of test kits from Germany. With grounded airlines, this has been disrupted and added to the troubles. But soon enough, an indigenous test kit developed in a lab in Pune will address the major Covid-19 challenge India faces. Mylab Discovery Solutions, a molecular diagnostics company, has developed the first "Made in India" test kit for Covid-19 in just six weeks. The record time does not compromise on the accuracy of the test results as the test kit has been tested by ICMR and approved by CDSCO.
Made-in-India Covid-19 test kit
Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit is approved for commercial production. The test kit has been developed as per the WHO and CDC guidelines.
"We have been trying hard to make cutting edge technology available to our country at a reasonable and affordable price. Since this test is based on sensitive PCR technology, even early-stage infection can be detected, with the highest accuracy as has been seen during tests at ICMR. The ICMR tested, CDSCO approved kit makes detection faster too," said Shailendra Kawade, Executive Director at Mylab.
What makes India's test kit a game-changer is that it can be used to test about 100 patients with just one kit. Furthermore, Mylab says it can manufacture up to 1 lakh test kits in a week, bolstering India's testing process. According to the Pune-based lab, an average lab with automated PCR can test more than 1,000 patients a day.
Another interesting aspect that will help India address the challenge of screening Covid-19 patients is that the Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit can give the results in just 2.5 hours compared to the seven hours labs are currently taking.
Covid-19 test labs in India
In an effort to boost the diagnosis process of Covid-19 to fight the disease better, the ICMR has approved 116 government labs and 6 private ones across the country. Of these approved labs, 89 diagnostic centers are already in operation and the remaining 27 will start conducting tests soon. The ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said that India is equipped to test 10,000 people each day.