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India can double coronavirus test kits to 200,000 in a week, thanks to Pune-based Mylabs

Preeti Soni | Mar 24, 2020, 11:32 IST
  • Mylab Discovery Solution became the first Indian company to get commercial approval for a Coronavirus testing kit.
  • Mylab’s COVID-19 test kit screens and detects the infection within 2.5 hours as compared with over 7 hours taken by current protocol.
  • ICMR currently has 100,000 test kits and Mylabs says it can make another 100,000 in just a week. However, ICMR also ordered 200,000 test kits from Germany.
Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solution became the first Indian company to get commercial approval to make Coronavirus testing kits. It received permissions from both Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
ICMR currently has 100,000 test kits and Mylabs says it can make another 100,000 in just a week. However, ICMR also ordered 200,000 test kits from Germany.
Indegenous kits faster
The Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit was developed in six weeks. These indegenous kits are faster than normal kits. Mylab's kit screens and detects infection within 2.5 hours as compared with over 7 hours taken by the current protocol.
"With emphasis on Make in India and support from local and central governments, the COVID-19 kit has been made as per WHO/CDC guidelines. It was developed and evaluated in a record time," Mylab Discovery Solutions MD Hasmukh Rawal said.
With these indigenous kits, the government will spend one-fourth of the current procurement cost. The lab might charge ₹1,200 per kit. However, while an automated PCR test kit can study more than 1,000 patients a day, Mylab’s kit can study only 100 patients.
India is testing the lowest number of people in the world for Covid-19
India faced a lot of backlash for testing fewer people for the Coronavirus. By testing 15 people per million, it is testing the lowest number of people in the world.
The Indian Council of Medical Research initially tested only those people who had travel history and showed symptoms. Later, to expand testing, ICMR roped in 12 more private labs to increase testing. However, these private labs lack approved testing kits that are necessary.
See also:
India goes into a complete lockdown in 30 states and union territories
Punjab IAS officers donate salaries as state's infected number hits 23
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