A private firm based in West Bengal, GCC Biotech India claimed it has developed indigenous 'real-time' COVID-19 test kit costing only ₹500 for a single test.
Named 'DiAGSure nCOV-19 Detection Assay' the kit has demonstrated a near-100 per cent accuracy in detecting the virus in a short span of 90 minutes.
"After two months of research, we made this kit. It is cost-effective as it contains all reagents produced by us. We've made one crore test kits and have 40 lakh in store. If India can do three lakh tests per day, we'll be able to support the government without any problems," Raja Majumdar, the Managing Director of GCC Biotech India told ANI.
GCC Biotech located in Bakrahat, South 24 Parganas has developed the testing kits indigenously, in its own laboratory. This test kit includes two steps - QRT PCR Master Mix Primer Probe and RNA Template and can test 100 patients.
"It is a real-time test kit which can detect infection. Within 90 minutes, the patient can get the COVID-19 result. The incubation period is not required for the test. Producing reagents is an advantage of the company. We are supplying the reagents across the country. We have the capacity to manufacture one crore test kits per month," said Raja Mazumdar.
"We have got the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) clearance and are waiting for WHO approval. If we are asked by the State or Central government for providing test kits at this hour of crisis, we are ready to meet the demands as required. A private laboratory is charging ₹4500 for the COVID test. This kit will turn out to be fruitful to those who are economically weak," he added.
Reportedly, the low-priced COVID-19 testing kit designed by a group of researchers in West Bengal and has received the approval of ICMR.
According to the official statement which was issued on May 7, the researchers, under the guidance of former CSIR scientist Samit Adhyay, assembled the kit in a matter of one-and-half months with logistic support from Dr Koustubh Panda, the head of the biotechnology department, University of Calcutta. The researchers include Dr Avijit Ghosh, Mr Joydeep Mitra, Mr Surajit Maiti, Dr Gairik Mukherjee, Mr Pinaki Chatterjee and Mohd. Nadeem Khan.
Following rigorous clinical trials, GCC Biotech (India) Private Ltd then developed the equipment for testing.