Coronavirus: How soon will the UAE get India’s 45-minute Covid test?

The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr.

 India’s Tata Group has announced its plans to roll out its low-cost Covid-19 test that gives results in 45-minutes, within a month.

The inexpensive paper-based test for the coronavirus could give fast results similar to a pregnancy test, explained Girish Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Tata Medical and Diagnostics, at the UAE- India Health Forum on Monday.

Senior healthcare leaders from UAE and heads of diplomatic missions participated in the event. The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Scientists estimate that the kit – called Feluda – would return results in under an hour and cost Dh25 (INR 500), reported the BBC on October 4.

The test is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Speaking at the virtual session, Krishnamurthy said the test does not require expensive machines and turnaround time is very quick. He said popularly-used RT-PCR machine requires an expensive machine.

“This can become a new gold standard in Covid-19 testing. It is simple, reliable, and highly scalable. It operates on simple, low-cost thermocyclers and in 45-minutes it can provide a tamper-free test result,” he said.

Krishnamoorthy said Tata is ready to meet with a large volume of demand in a matter of two-three months, following regulatory approvals. “It has been tested on thousands of live samples in India. Currently, it is in a major production mode. We are looking to offer this to the world before the end of this month,” said Krishnamurthy. 

“We have received approvals from the Indian government. In a matter of two-three months, we will be able to handle not only demand from India but global demand as well,” explained Krishnamoorthy.

Consul-General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri said, “Dr Krishnamurthy’s contributions was lauded as the most successful Digital India initiative of 2016 by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.”

The Indian Mission in Dubai has also said that the test is awaiting regulatory approvals from different markets and will be ready for launch in different markets, including the UAE. 

“This is subject to regulatory and other approvals in different countries. Given the current collaborations, we are hoping to have this product in the UAE too – very soon,” said Neeraj Agarwal, consul – press, information and culture at the Indian Consulate.  

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