Cheap & efficient Paper based COVID test coming soon!
Galatta | Oct 24, 2020, 08:48 pm
Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic, almost all the health experts have been telling that one of the most effective and easiest ways to control the spread of this deadly virus, is testing! It is only after the testing increased exponentially that hotspots were easily identified and contact tracing could also be effectively done. This helped majorly in quarantining the infected people and preventing the spread of the Corona Virus. The most widely used test for identifying the Corona Virus is the RT-PCR test or the antigen test, which are relatively costly as well as have a longer turn-around time or are cheap but have lower levels of accuracy, to produce the results. Now, Indian scientists have announced that they have come up with an effective, cheap and quick paper-based COVID-19 detection test!
This comes as great news as reports state that the test results would be known in as quickly as an hour itself! India is only second in the world to the United States of America, among the list of countries most affected by the Corona Virus. This new COVID test, named Feluda after a popular detective character from a novel, is expected to be available across India very soon! This test is said to be similar to a home paper strip test which helps in identifying pregnancy and is said to deliver results within an hour. Souvik Maiti, a scientist from New Delhi's CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (GIB), is one of the co-creators of this test and they say, "This test doesn't require any sophisticated equipment or highly trained manpower."
The people behind Feluda think that this test would be a major help in remote places of India, where the availability of sophisticated equipment would not be easily available. Feluda is similar to other paper based tests being developed in other countries. This combines the efficiency of the RT-PCR tests witht the accessibility of the antigen test kits. This Feluda test kit uses the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique, for which its inventors Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, recently. The Feluda test kits have been granted approval by the Indian government and are all set to hit the market very soon, with the Indian company Tata Groups taking up the process. Some reports state that the test would cost as low as Rs. 500. Stay tuned for updates...