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ICMR nod to India’s first COVID-19 test kit

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved Delhi-based Oscar Medicare’s indigenous point-of-care (POC) rapid test kits to detect coronavirus antibodies, which is touted to be India’s first official COVID-19 testing kit. Oscar Medicare is one of the largest manufacturers of pregnancy kits. It also makes HIV, HCV, dengue and malaria POC diagnostic kits in the country.

Oscar Medicare CEO Anand Sekhri said the firm is planning to launch two lakh test kits in September and that in all, they can produce five lakh test kits per day, reported The Times of India.

Sekhri also claimed the rapid testing kit will provide the result in 20 minutes, and will be priced around Rs 200. Notably, there are various kinds of rapid testing kits whose credibility is under a cloud. Such testing kits are getting sold online without ICMR’s approval.

At present, India is using Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection assay, commonly known as rapid antigen detection test POC diagnostic assay in combination with RT-PCR test.

The Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection is that the test can be interpreted as positive or negative after 15 minutes, or maximum by 30 minutes. It detects certain proteins in the virus. After that, the test strip should be discarded. The test kit should be stored between 2 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.

The RT-PCR test, which can take hours or even days before a result, detects the genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction. – Business Today