NEW DELHI: With emphasis on testing more COVID-19 suspected cases to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is expected to soon come up with economical diagnostic kits. Likely to be priced at Rs 1,000, the kits are expected to be available in two to three weeks after validation.
“We are helping our incubating companies; they have come out with ideas and we are supporting them. We are testing and validating the diagnostic kits proposed by them. We may come up with some good kits and it may take at least two-three weeks if everything goes well. Quality and accuracy of the kits are the most important things. If the kits give 100 percent results, then only they will be approved,” said Dr R K Mishra, Director, CCMB.
The organisation is also keeping in mind the cost of the kits. “Our estimate is that the test should be less than Rs 1,000. We are also thinking of kits which are as cheap as Rs 400-500 each. But at present we cannot assure that, as it is a different route and all this needs more standardisation”, said Dr Mishra. Further, CCMB is also planning to culture the covid-19 virus as the institution has got the approvals from the government.
“In the meantime, our facilities are set and we are actually training people who are going for the testing in other recognised places in the city” he said.
Some of the labs where the COVID-19 testing will be done include Nizam’s Institute Of Medical Sciences (Hydrabad), Gandhi Hospital, Osmania General Hospital, Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases or the Fever Hospital and the Warangal Hospital. The Centre for DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics is also likely to be added to this group.
At present the country does not have enough testing kits if the outbreak reaches third stage.
‘Quality and accuracy matter’ “We may come up with some good kits and it may take at least two-three weeks if everything goes well. Quality and accuracy of the kits are the most important things. If the kits give 100 percent results, then only they will be approved,” said Dr R K Mishra, Director, CCMB.