With the spread of COVID-19 showing no sign of abating, scientists are struggling to find a cure for the deadly virus. While US has been facing a shortage of Novel Coronavirus test kits, the Asian country, India which recently implemented a 21 days lockdown measure to contain the virus spread, has revealed that a diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions became the first Indian firm to receive commercial approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for its non-US FDA EUA/CE Coronavirus test kit.
Mylab is the first FDA-approved molecular diagnostics company in India for RT-PCR-based kits for testing HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Now, this six-year-old company is planning to manufacture more than 15,000 test kits per day.
The current lab-based Coronavirus tests take at least four hours to provide the results of a suspected COVID -19 patients but Mylab's turnaround time is two and a half hours. Company's director of Medical Affairs Dr Gautam Wankhede told media that the challenge is providing the test kits at nearly one -third of the current price cap of Rs 4,500 per test.
Even though India government implemented lockdown measures, it also came under criticism for not doing enough tests. However, so far, the Indian Council of Medical Research has limited the tests only for the patients with a travel history and those who are suspected COVID-19 patients. The Asian country ranks lowest in terms of testing done per million population. But this is not the only country which is failing to conduct enough tests.
US COVID-19 tests
US President Donald Trump and his administration have been criticized over the rate of Novel Coronavirus testing in the country, which has reported over 69,000 COVID-19 infection cases. But on Wednesday, March 25 Trump claimed that the US had done more testing than any other nation.
During the press briefing, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's Coronavirus response coordinator, said, "We now have 370,000 tests that have been done. The majority of those -- over 220,000 in the last eight days, which, those of you who have been tracking the South Korea numbers, put us equivalent to what they did in eight weeks that we did in eight days."
After the White House brief, Trump who called the Novel Coronavirus as "Chinese Virus" tweeted:
"Just reported that the United States has done far more 'testing' than any other nation, by far! In fact, over an eight-day span, the United States now does more testing than what South Korea (which has been a very successful tester) does over an eight-week span."
But as per the reports, South Korea, which has a population of 51 million, had carried out 357,896 tests, while US, with a population of 329 million, had conducted at least 418,810 tests. However, it should be noted that until recently, US was behind South Korea in terms of total tests, despite the fact that these two countries reported their first confirmed cases on the same day.