Rapid and cheap: These new testing kits could change the course of COVID-19 in India
Developed by Abbott Laboratories, the molecular point-of-care test for the detection of COVID-19 is slated to be available in India third week of April.
A test that would provide a positive COVID-19 result in as little as 5 minutes and a negative result within 12 minutes, may come to India in the third week of April, according to TV news reports. Each test kit is expected to cost between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
Developed by Abbott Laboratories, an American medical devices and healthcare company, the molecular point-of-care test for the detection of COVID-19 will available in the US from this week.
Yesterday, Bangalore-based biotech startup, Bione, also launched a rapid testing kit for the novel coronavirus - the first of its kind in India. It is approved by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and can be used at home.
Bione's kit requires blood from a prick of the finger and promises to give a result within 5-10 minutes. It would be priced at Rs 2,000-3,000. The company is expected to manufacture 20,000 kits per week. They will be available for sale on the company’s platform and delivered in 2-3 days of placing an order, according to a company spokesperson.
Currently, government approved and supported labs are testing for COVID-19 using RT-PCR test. This test provides results within 45 minutes and the government has capped the cost for COVID-19 testing at Rs 4,500.
Race for the fastest kit
On March 27, Abbott had announced that it had received US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) emergency use authorization for the test, which is being dubbed the fastest testing kit yet. The company has said it wants to prioritize frontline health workers - they will be given the first priority to get the test kits so they can continue doing their jobs and caring for the sick. Abbott expects to produce 50,000 kits daily and also plan to introduce different types of tests over the next few weeks or maybe months.
According to CNBC, Abbott tests may be available in India by the third week of April. They also reported that the test was expected to be priced at Rs 500-1000 and would give a result within 15 minutes. These tests are only just reaching the different states in the US and the news of them coming to India has not been shared by Abbott or the Indian government yet.
#CNBCTV18Exclusive | Abbott’s rapid diagnostic commercial kits may arrive in India by the 3rd week of April. Price per test expected to be in the range of Rs 500-1000, reports @ekta_batra pic.twitter.com/fC2DxNdfpe
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) April 3, 2020
For more information, read our article on COVID-19: Point of Care Tests.
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