In yet another stellar achievement, a lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a COVID-19 antibody detection-based kit called ‘DIPCOVAN’. It can detect Coronavirus spike as well as the nucleocapsid proteins of the virus, with a high sensitivity of 97% and high specificity of 99%, the DRDO said.
The kit has been developed in association with Delhi-based development and manufacturing company Vanguard Diagnostics Private Limited. "It was developed indigenously by scientists, followed by extensive validation on over 1,000 patient samples at various Covid hospitals in Delhi," it said.
The DRDO added that three batches of the product were approved over the last year and that the antibody detection kit was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in April this year. "In May 2021, the product received the regulatory approval from the DCGI, CDSCO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to manufacture for sale and distribution," it said.
On Monday, the first batch of DRDO's anti-Coronavirus drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was released by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. The drug has been developed in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hyderabad and was approved for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India, earlier this month. Approximately 10,000 doses of DRDO-developed medicine will be made available by the DRDO this week to be administered across India.
According to data from the Union Health Ministry, the daily spike of Coronavirus cases in India remained below 3 lakh for the third day in a row, with only 2,67,334 new cases reported on Thursday. At the moment, there are 2,54,96,330 active cases, 2,19,86,363 recoveries, and 2,83,248 deaths in the country. With 5,75,028 active infections, Karnataka is the worst-affected state and the latest hotspot, followed by Maharashtra with 4,19,727 active cases.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 32,03,01,177 samples were screened for COVID-19 between May 18 and May 18, with 20,08,296 samples tested on Tuesday. India's death toll from COVID-19 has reached another grim mark, with 4,529 new deaths in the last 24 hours, making it the country with the highest single-day COVID-19 fatalities.