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In a major breakthrough, Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd has developed India's first indigenous COVID-19 testing kit that has been approved for commercial use by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
A single kit costs Rs 80,000 and can test 100 patients. These kits will reportedly reduce the cost of testing to a fourth of the current cost.
"We can produce 1 to 1.5 lakh tests in a week, we are trying to increase our production for the public. These kits cost 1/4th the price that the imported kits are being sold for," Ranjit Desai, Scientist at Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd told ANI.
We can produce 1 to 1.5 lakh tests in a week, we are trying to increase our production for the public. These kits cost 1/4th the price that the imported kits are being sold for: Ranjit Desai, Scientist at Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd https://t.co/46tCLZRjUl pic.twitter.com/CX6ATqdQGR— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2020
The molecular diagnostic company had received statutory approvals late on Monday, March 23, from authorities. The company can manufacture over 15,000 testing kits per day from its facility at Lonavala, Pune. They will soon amp up the production to 25,000 kits per day, the company's co-founder Shrikant Patole said.
A team of 25 scientists from the company had started working on the solution six weeks ago. It received approvals from the National Institute of Virology(NIV), Indian Council of Medical Research and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) after a test sampling on patients at Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital.
The test for COVID-19 will also pick up positive cases among asymptomatic patients. Till now, India has been using kits prepared by the state-run NIV and these cost up to up to Rs 4,500 per sample. It was a fear of an increase in number of cases that led to the private sector interventions in manufacturing.
Meanwhile, at least 22 private laboratory chains have been registered with the ICMR till Tuesday for conducting COVID-19 tests. These have around 15,500 collection centres spread all over the country.
In addition, 118 government laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing. The network has the capacity to test 12,000 samples daily.Also Read: What Worst-Affected Indian States Are Doing To Fight Coronavirus Pandemic
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