Mylab Discovery, in the western city of Pune, became the first Indian firm to get full approval to make and sell testing kits Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: India has been questioned for its poor record of testing people in the battle against coronavirus. This could change as we now have our own test kit for COVID-19 developed by a Pune-based diagnostic firm.

The home-grown test kit was developed by a virologist, Minal Dakhve Bhosale, development chief of Mylab Discovery. She incidentally also delivered her bundle of joy, a baby girl, a day after successfully developing the kit.

Bhosale and her team at Mylab discovery, developed the testing kit called Patho Detect in just six weeks. She has started working on the programme in February, just days after according to reports leaving a hospital with pregnancy complications.

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The kit was submitted to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for evaluation on March 18.

This is the first test kit to get full approval NIV. The first batch of 150 kits were supplied to labs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru.

The team that designed the coronavirus testing kit called Patho Detect, said it was done “in record time” – six weeks instead of three or four months. Bhosale told the BBC on Friday. She also told the network that their test kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take six-seven hours.

Each Mylab kit can test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 ($16; £13) – that’s about a quarter of the Rs 4,500 that India pays to import Covid-19 testing kits from abroad.

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