IIT researchers develop cost effective Covid 19 test
IIT Delhi: A new test to detect to COVID-19 has been developed by researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D).
The test is cost effective and will be affordable for large sections. The test is being validated on clinical samples by the National Institute of Virpology (NIV), Pune.
According to the researchers development of indigenous kits is the need of the hour considering the scale of the ongoing pandemic.
The central government has recommended that the maximum charge for each COVID-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed Rs 4,500.
According to the researchers, the test has been optimised and tested for sensitivity at the research laboratories of the Institute.The new method called the "probe-free detection assay" has been developed at IIT-D's Kusuma School of Biological Sciences.
All private laboratories which have NABL accreditation for real-time PCR SA for RNA virus will be allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests, according to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories, which were notified by the Health Ministry on Saturday night.
However, the team at IIT claims that their test can be performed at a much cheaper cost and hence will be affordable for general public.
"Using comparative sequence analysis, we have identified unique regions in COVID-19. These unique regions are not present in other human coronaviruses providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19," Professor Vivekanandan Perumal, lead member of the team told PTI.
Once the NIV validates the assay, it can be quickly scaled up to meet the increasing need in our country," he added.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 16,911 samples from 16,021 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on March 21 and a total of 315 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.