While the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising all countries to intensify their testing programs to combat the deadly coronavirus outbreak, an Ahmedabad-based company became the first in India to receive a license to manufacture COVID-19 test kits from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO). This has made CoSara Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, the only company in India that will be able to manufacture reagent kits that are used in the rRT-PCR machines to test for the fatal virus infection and will not be required to be imported from other countries.
The major revelation will not only enhance India’s fight against the pandemic but has also started a joint venture between Ahmedabad-based company and Co-Diagnostics Inc of Utah, United States. According to media reports, Mohal Kartikeya Sarabhai, the CEO of CoSara has said that they will “begin manufacturing shortly” after the raw materials ordered from its American partner arrive in the nation. Currently, India has confirmed at least 360 cases of coronavirus and reported seven fatalities. However, this reagent kits will provide the test results in less than three hours, while other tests sometimes take several days.
The WHO’s special envoy for coronavirus has reportedly said that “testing is essential” but the struggle has left epidemiologists unable to perform tests and assess the exact scope of the drastically spreading pandemic. The antibody tests, which the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a “game-changer” are still in the study phase. However, the review published by the researchers has deemed that they are making progress.
Apart from the antibody tests, the other test which can detect the present infection in people is currently struggling with short supply. Qiagen NV, the company which makes its own testing kits as well as components others need to make theirs is reportedly having to ration clients while it works to ramp up production as much as 80 per cent in two months.