NEW DELHI—The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that has in the past successfully developed a number of test kids for chikungunya, dengue, anthrax and Japanese encephalitis, has developed a Covid-19 test kit.
The kit has been developed in association with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a private diagnostics company based at New Delhi.
The antibody detection kit offers results within 75 minutes while all other kits available in Indian market take much longer time.
After approval by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the kit was commercially launched in the market in the first week of this month. The kit is being supplied to the government laboratories, hospitals as also private laboratories.
According to Vangaurd officials, the kit called DIPCOVAN is the most economical test kid available in Indian market. It is available for Rs. 75 per kit.
“The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97 percent and specificity of 99 percent,” a statement released by the health ministry said.
The kit, according to health ministry, has a shelf life of 18 months.
The kit was developed by DRDO and Vanguard Diagnostics after extensive validation on more than 1,000 patient samples at various COIVD designated hospitals in Delhi.
“Three batches of the product were validated during the last one year. The antibody detection kit was approved by ICMR in April 2021”, the health ministry’s statement said.
“DIPCOVAN is intended for the qualitative detection of TgG antibodies in human serum or plasma, targeting SARS-Co-2 related antigens. It offers a significantly faster turn-around-time as it requires just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross activity with other diseases,” the ministry’s statement claimed.
The kit has come as a big relief at a time when the country has been badly hit by second Covid wave and hospitals in several states are facing shortage of testing kits, medicines and oxygen.
India has so far recorded a little less than 3 crores of Covid positive cases out of whom 2.89 crores have recovered and about 4 lakh have died.