Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Minister of State (HRD) Sanjay Dhotre on Wednesday launched a low-cost COVID-19 test kit. The kit has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT) is touted as one of the most affordable probe free RT-PCR based coronavirus diagnostic kit.
IIT Delhi, which became the first academic institute to develop a COVID-19 testing method, gave non-exclusive open licence to companies for commercialising the test, but with a price rider. The institute had kept a price rider of Rs 500 per kit and the company Newtech Medical Devices, which has launched the kit named ‘corosure‘ has fixed the price at Rs 399.
Corosure’s Managing Director Jatin Goyal said the kit would cost just Rs 399 and at this price, it would be certainly very affordable as compared to other probe tests that are being imported from other countries.
However, the test will cost around Rs 650 because the kit will require two more products for the COVID-19 test.
“The basic price of our kit is Rs 399 and the other two products which include RNA extraction kit cost around 250 and they are easily available at every hospital. So the total cost of COVID-19 test using ‘corosure’ will be around Rs 650.” Goyal told HealthWire.
Goyal also said that the kit can provide test results in 85 minutes.
“This should change the paradigm of COVID-19 testing in the country, both in terms of scale and cost,” said IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao.
Corosure is approved by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and DCGI (Drug Controller General of India).
“The company Newtech Medical Devices, using IIT Delhi technology, can do two million tests per month at an extremely affordable cost. This is a true example of lab to market,” Rao said.
According to the team at IIT Delhi, the current testing methods available are “probe-based”, while the one developed by them is a “probe-free” method, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy.
Using comparative sequence analyses, the IIT Delhi team identified unique regions (short stretches of RNA sequences) in the COVID-19 and SARS COV-2 genome.
Meanwhile, India registered a record single-day jump of 29,429 COVID-19 cases pushing its tally to 9,36,181 on Wednesday, while the death toll climbed to 24,309 with 582 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The number of recoveries stands at 5,92,031, while there are 3,19,840 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country, the updated data at 8 am showed.