08:15 GMT31 May 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s apex body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research cleared two COVID-19 Test Kits for use on 23 March – one is a home-grown kit and the other is made by a German manufacturer.

    India’s home-grown COVID-19 Test Kits will hit the market less than a fortnight after getting its mandatory statutory clearance from the Indian Council of Medical Research.

    “Kits are being dispatched regularly and we are getting support of the governments, medical bodies, suppliers and logistic partners to deliver to different parts of the country. We are also ramping up our capacity,” Saurabh Gupta, spokesperson for MyLabs told Sputnik.

    MyLabs claims that its kits can deliver accurate results in just over 2 hours. Gupta says that the kits are based on a “Real Time - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)” that produces a confirmed result of the test in one go. The kits cost INR 1,200 ($15 approx.) compared with INR 4,500 ($58 approx.) for imported kits.

    “It is based on extraction of genetic material of the virus from the sample and then using PCR to polymerize it and make several copies and then identifying it basis of genetic signatures. It is capable of detecting the infection in its early stages because it relies on genetic material of virus to show results,” Gupta added.

    MyLabs has the capacity to produce 15,000 kits daily, but it is planning to step up production to 20,000 in view of the prevailing medical emergency.

    On Thursday, US-based healthcare firm Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that its home test kit, the TaqPath COVID-19, had received approvals from Indian authorities and would soon hit the market.

    Bengaluru-based Bione claims that its ICMR-approved test kits can produce results within 5 to 10 minutes and these are also available to purchase online.

    Since the pandemic hit India on 30 January, more than 50 people have succumbed to the viral infection with 1,965 confirmed cases, including 51 foreign nationals.

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