The development of this testing kit was completed in three months and can be easily manufactured commercially at a very low price Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has successfully developed a testing kit that can detect the SARS-Cov-2 virus at a very cheap cost, making it affordable for a large number of population in India. The testing kit has now got the approval of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“We started working on it by the end of January and got it ready in three months. We wanted to contribute to affordable low-cost diagnostics that could be used in large numbers,” V Perumal, Professor at IIT-Delhi, told the news media.

With the approval of this testing kit by ICMR, IIT Delhi becomes the country’s first academic institute to get ICMR’s approval for real-time PCR-based diagnostic system. This development should help replace the faulty testing kits that were recently shipped from China and led to ICMR halting all the rapid tests in the country for two days, following complaints of variations in test results.

Through this, the testing will be cheaper than all existing devices and the device is also affordable for commercial production.

The research team that designed the testing kits at IIT, Delhi included PhD scholars Prashant Pradhan, Ashutosh Pandey and Praveen Tripathi, post-doctoral fellows Dr Parul Gupta and Dr Akhilesh Mishra and professors Vivekanandan Perumal, Manoj B Menon, James Gomes and Bishwajit Kundu.

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