Cost, reliability and speed: Why India's new paper Covid test is termed a gamechanger
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A team of scientists from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have developed a quick paper strip Covid-19 testing kit that gives results in one hour with 90% accuracy. The test, named after famous fictional detective Feluda created by filmmaker Satyjit Ray, will cost around Rs 500.
'Feluda' has already received regulatory approvals from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial launch, as per ICMR guidelines, meeting high-quality benchmarks with 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus.
“It’s a very accurate and accepted testing method and the advantage is that it can be used in any lab that has the technology. Lab technicians, however, may not be trained to use the technology, but it is easy to train them. With training, there can be widespread deployment across India,” said Dr Nirmal K Ganguly, former director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research told Hindustan Times.
How does the Feluda COVID-19 test strip work?
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) test is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing Covid-19.
This test currently requires machinery worth lakhs. However, the price of the test is placed at Rs 4,500 in private labs. This test will soon cost only Rs 500 as it can be used just like the pregnancy strip widely circulated over the counter, reports The Print.
This test uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. CRISPR is a genome-editing technology to diagnosing diseases.
“This strip will be similar to a pregnancy test strip, and will not require any specialised skill and machines to perform, as is the case with other PCR-based tests. This strip will just change colour and can be used in a simple pathological lab. The most important part is it will be 100 per cent accurate,” CSIR Director-General Shekhar C. Mande told The Print.
Why is this COVID-19 test named as 'Feluda'?
Everything is in the name! Be it a person or a thing. FELUDA is an acronym that stands for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay. And those who don't' know this name has been named after the famous fiction author Satyajit Ray.
Dr Debojyoti Chakraborty, who developed the test along with his team, said that he was a Satyajit Ray fan and that it was his wife who came up with the name, reports Hindustan Times.
Satyajit Ray named his character Prodosh Chandra Mitter, better known as Feluda in his novels. In the novels, Feluda used to go out on adventures with his cousin, Tapesh Ranjan Mitra, or Topshe and the very comical yet lovable, Laal Mohan Babu.
Feluda is the most loved character of every Bengali literature enthusiast for decades.
Feluda held various interesting traits including his witty replies and sharp mind. Somehow, that is why the CSIR scientists decided to name the rapid Covid-19 test after him.
Posted By: Deeksha Sharma