A molecular diagnostics company in India, Mylab Discovery Solutions, has developed a kit that can perform the novel coronavirus test in a short time. Compared to previous tests which took around six to eight hours to show results, the kit developed in the western Indian city of Pune can perform the test in a mere 2.5 hours, it is claimed.
The company can manufacture around 15,000 kits. The company received approval from the authorities late on Monday and it will be producing around 25,000 kits per day, the co-founder of the company told local media.
The World Health Organisation has been stressing the need for a wide range of tests during the pandemic. South Korea's action against the disease is seen as an example by the WHO.
The disease has so far killed nine people in India and infected around 500 people.
First to receive approval
The Indian FDA/ Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit, the first kit to receive approval in the country.
According to the company's Managing Director, Hasmukh Rawal, the kit is made as per the guidelines of the WHO and the CDC. The company presently manufactures ID-NAT testing kits for blood banks and hospitals. The Covid-19 kit has also been evaluated by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
India is bracing for a sharp rise in the number of cases as there is a lack of Covid-19 testing kits. The new kits can help in solving the problem to a certain extent. The lab has promised manufacture of of 100,000 kits in a week which can be scaled up in the future.
The kits are expected to cost one-fourth of what it is now. The labs would be able to conduct twice the number of reactions at the same time on one machine.
Presently, the ICMR has 100,000 testing kits and the production by Mylabs would mean addition of 100,000 in a matter of a week. The ICMR has also ordered new kits from Germany.