New Delhi: Claims have been made that it is the world’s ‘most affordable diagnostic’ kit for coronavirus. This low-cost test kit developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) was launched here Wednesday. According to IIT officials, the base price of the RT-PCR assay developed by IIT Delhi is Rs 399. Even after adding the RNA isolation and laboratory charges, the cost per kit will be Rs 650. It will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market. The IIT, Delhi developed kit can deliver results within three hours.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the test kit named ‘Corosure’. It will now be available for use at authorised testing labs.
“The ‘Corosure Kit’ has been developed indigenously and is much cheaper than others. India requires cheap and reliable testing which can help control the pandemic. The kit has received ICMR approval with the highest score. The DCGI approved it with a very high sensitivity and specificity,” Pokhriyal said at the launch.
Referring it to as world’s most affordable COVID-19 diagnostic kit the HRD Minister said it is a step towards ‘Make in India’.
IIT Delhi became the first academic institute to get ICMR nod for a COVID-19 testing method. It gave non-exclusive open licence to 10 companies for commercialising the test, but with a price rider of R 500 for the assay needed for testing. ‘Corosure’ has been commercialised by Newtech Medical Devices.
According to the team at IIT Delhi, the current testing methods available are ‘probe-based’. The one developed by them is a ‘probe-free’ method, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy.
India saw a record single-day jump of 29,429 COVID-19 cases pushing its tally to 9,36,181, Wednesday. The death toll climbed to 24,309 with 582 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data. This is the fourth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 28,000.