New test kits probably in 2 months: ICMR

NEW DELHI: India is likely to start manufacturing new serological diagnostic test kits in the next two months, as much progress has been made after the virus was isolated by research agencies, the Indian Council of Medical Research said (ICMR).

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ICMR's chief epidemiologist and communicable disease expert Dr said that once the virus has been isolated it helps advance research to develop diagnostic kits, drugs and vaccines, and India is working in that direction.

We are hopeful that at least serological diagnostic tests will be performed in India in the next one to two months, Dr. Gangakhedkar said. Serological tests are tests that look for antibodies in the blood and help diagnose diseases.

Meanwhile, to make quick R&ddecisionsforsars-cov2andcovid-19,thegovernmentformedascienceandtechnologyco-chairedbyvkpaulandthechiefscientificadviser.thecommitteewillworkincoordinationwiththescientificcounciland(csir),thebiotechnologydepartment(dbt),thescienceandtechnologydepartment(dst)andotherscientificagencies,scientists,industriesandregulatorybodiestomakequickdecisionsonsolutionstothedisease..

thecommitteehasgivenconsenttoinstitutesunderdst,dbt,csir,dae,drdoandindianinstituteofscience(iisc)toself-assessandpreparetheirlaboratoriesforresearchandtestingusingarigorousstandardprotocol.

additionally,icmrwithitsstrengthinclinicaltrialsandoperationalresearchisworkingwithdbtandcsirontheagendaofdevelopingavaccineforcovid-19disease.

amidconcernsoverthedelayinapprovingprivatetestinglabs,dr.gangakhedkarflatlysaidthereisnodelay.

“thereisnodelay,weareallowingthosewhofitthecriteria.nowthekithastobepurchasedbythem.iftheyfaceproblemsinthat,thentheyhavetosolveit.thereisnothingwecandoaboutit,”saiddr.gangakhedkar.

inaddition,heclarifiedthattheslightdelayinapprovalsreportingcouldbeduetotheburdenofdataentryoperatorstakingafewhours.

sofar,theicmrhasapproved49privatelaboratoriesand399patientshavebeenevaluatedintheselaboratories.

icmrmaintainedthatthereisadequatecapacityandstockofreagentsingovernmentlaboratoriestomeetcurrenttestingrequirements.

thekitsusedinthepublicsectorlaboratoriesarebeingpurchasedandstoredbyusandwearenotfacinganyproblemsinthat,hesaid.

asoftuesday,atotalofabout42,788testswereperformedbygovernmentdiagnosticlaboratories.sofar,123publicsectorlabsarefunctionalundericmrtotestcovid-19.however,givencurrenttestingprotocols,indiacurrentlyusesonly36%ofthiscapacity.

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