While vaccine, the only solution for the pandemic seems to be out of option for a common man anytime soon, ’Tracking-Testing-Treating’ has been the thumb rule coming to the rescue of central government.
In the wake of state government’s ramping up the number of testing, severe crunch in testing kits turned a challenge as the number of suspected cases kept increasing exponentially with each passing day.
Amidst which, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the commercial launch of TATA Group’s prestigious ‘Feluda’, India’s first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) coronavirus test.
This ‘Made In India’ paper strip test claimed to be safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible which would be available in the market for Rs 500 very soon is developed in collaboration with Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) in New Delhi.
How does it work..?
According to the statement released by CSIR, the test deploys a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing Covid-19. It can be used in a way similar to pregnancy test strips widely available over the counter and will not require any specialised skill and machines to perform, as is the case with other PCR-based tests.
The test replaces, the real-time polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR) which is currently used requires machinery worth lakhs and the price of the test is capped at Rs 4,500 in private labs. This strip will just change colour and can be used in a simple pathological lab. The most important part is it will be 100 per cent accurate.
While many raised concerns over the accuracy of the test strips, DCGI after the approval stated that he Tata CRISPR test has met high-quality benchmarks set by ICMR with 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus.