Covid-19: Private firm gets ICMR nod to produce rapid testing POC kits
Till now, the government's emphasis has been primarily on RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) testing and antigen testing
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved point-of-care (POC) rapid testing kits developed indigenously. The kit, which is based on a finger-prick test to check blood samples for Covid-19 antibodies, will be manufactured by a private company, says a report by The Times of India..
The government's emphasis has been primarily on RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) testing and antigen testing. It had prohibited POC testing for coronavirus as antibody tests are not regarded as the only basis to tackle the disease, the report points out.
The company which has received ICMR’s nod, Oscar Medicare, is one of the largest manufacturing firms of pregnancy kits. It also produces HIV, HCV, dengue and malaria POC diagnostic kits, the publication reported.
"We are planning to launch two lakh test kits in September, and have already tied up with distributors across the country…The test is similar to a glucometer and will provide results in 20 minutes," Times Of India quoted the group CEO Anand Sekhri.
The firm claimed that Dhiti Life Sciences produced the raw material called Corona fusion antigen, which is used in the test kits.
Industry experts suggest that there are less rapid POC kits in the market. They are also sold online, but their authenticity is quite uncertain, as per the Times of India report.