India develops ‘COVID Kavach’ that tests 90 samples together

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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government received 24,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits out of an order of 1.25 lakh placed with a Chinese company, in Chennai on Apr 18, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  This is one ‘Make in India’ project that will not only make you proud but save countless lives too. The National Institute of Virology in Pune has successfully developed the first indigenous anti-SARS-CoV-2A (Covid-19) human IgG ELISA test kit for antibody detection of the deadly virus, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on Sunday.

“This robust test will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of population exposed to SARS CoV2 infection,” he tweeted.

This kit was validated at two sites in Mumbai and has high sensitivity & accuracy, claimed the Health Minister. Besides, it has the advantage of testing 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours, so that healthcare professionals can proceed quickly with necessary next steps on their patients’ triage paths. This is crucial since time is of essence during a pandemic.

“ELISA based testing is easily possible even at district level. The ICMR technology has been transferred to Zydus Cadila for mass-scale production. The Drug Controller General has granted commercial production & marketing permission to Zydus,” announced Harsh Vardhan. This comes on a day when India’s total active COVID-19 cases stand at 41,462.

Both the Health Minister and the Centre has been on an overdrive to contain the speed of the virus. On Sunday, he visited the Covid Care Centre (CCC) at Mandoli Jail, New Delhi to review the status of Covid-19 management.

“A total of 855 Dedicated Covid Hospitals have been identified across the country with 1,65,723 Beds (1,47,128 Isolation Beds + ICU Beds); 1,984 Dedicated Covid Health Centres with 1,31,352 Beds (1,21,403 Isolation Beds + 9,949 ICU Beds); and, 4,362 Covid Care Centres with 3,46,856 beds. Delhi has 17 Covid Care Centres with a capacity for around 5,000 beds,” he said, in his address there.

Visiting one of the 12 towers at Mandoli, he interacted with the patients from Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Assam and enquired about their well-being. Though he said many patients have recovered and gone back home, he cautioned: “Continuously observing personal and respiratory etiquettes, social distancing would reap us rich dividends in ultimate fight against Covid-19.”

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