India gets its own Covid-19 testing kit

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 24, 2020, 07.08 PM(IST) Edited By: Sonal Gera

Covid test kit Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

The laboratory is expecting the first batch to be out by Wednesday — March 25.

India on Tuesday got its own testing kit for the deadly novel coronavirus, which has been wreaking havoc over the world. A Pune-based molecular diagnostic company Mylab has becomes the first Indian company to have received the validation for its Covid-19 diagnostic test kits. It has received its commercial approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The laboratory is expecting the first batch to be out by Wednesday — March 25.

The other company to have received the approval is Germany's Altona Diagnostics.

The coronavirus tally has crossed the 500-mark in India — with the first case coming to light from the North East on Tuesday.

Over 30 fresh cases of Covid-19 were reported from across the country on Tuesday, taking the number to 536.

Mylab's turn around time is 2-1/2 hours as opposed to current lab based testing time (4 hours). Mylabs is looking to price its kits around INR 1200.

According to WHO, India is testing 15 people in 1 million — one of the lowest.

India had earlier limited the tests only for patients with travel history and those who are "suspected cases" of Covid-19. But the ICMR lately reworked its strategy. It said all hospitalised patients with severe acute respiratory illness, shortness of breath and having fever and cough will now be tested for COVID-19 infection. The new ICMR guidelines also said asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact.

India has so far witnessed cases of COVID-19 mostly related to travel and local transmission from imported cases. Community transmission of the disease has not been documented till now.

Also read: India reworks testing strategy to combat coronavirus spread