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Homeland Security

India Gets First Domestic COVID-19 Test Kits

Sputnik News

10:07 GMT 24.03.2020(updated 10:08 GMT 24.03.2020)

New Delhi (Sputnik): India has declared a country-wide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. While 492 people have tested positive for the illness in India, experts have been saying the number would be much more if wide-scale tests were conducted.

India's Mylab is the first company in the country to have received approval from the Drug Controller General of India, a regulatory body, for its COVID-19 diagnostic test kits, which have been validated by the National Institute of Virology.

The Mylab test kits would screen and detect the infection within 2.5 hours as compared to over 7 hours, as is the case with other kits. The Indian kit can run up to 24 samples in one go as compared to the currently available kits, which provide results for 90 samples in 6-7 hours.

Terming the local sourcing of test kits a major breakthrough, the company was quoted as saying that the testing kit by Mylab would cost nearly one-fourth of the current procurement cost.

After the number of positive cases exceeded 400 in India, the government fast-tracked the validation process for COVID-19 testing kits.

As many as 12 private laboratories with 15,000 collection centres have been permitted to conduct testing apart from the government laboratories.

The health experts in the country fear that the number of positive cases might be much more than recorded, so far as enough tests are not being conducted.

Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) - Asia's biggest medical research institute - Dr Randeep Guleria, had said the number of cases reported by the government only displays those who have been tested at special labs; however, the people with whom they have come in contact are still out there.

Currently, India has been using RT-PCR probes for diagnosis of COVID-19, procured from the US by Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology and distributed to the testing laboratories across the country.

The hospitals and medical facilities in different cities across the country have been complaining about the shortage of test kits.

Meanwhile, other countries have increased their testing capacity; the new kits take comparatively less time to show results.

India has so far reported 492 positive cases of coronavirus and 10 persons have lost their lives to the viral infection.


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