1st low-cost coronavirus testing kit made by Dr Minal Dakhave Bhosale in India. Image Courtesy – Indian People Times
The name of Dr. Minal Dakhave Bhosale will be written in ‘golden letters’ in chapter of Indian medical history as the creator of 1st coronavirus testing kit in India. India was being criticized for shortage of lab testing facilities for coronavirus. But, it was Minal Dakhave Bhosale, the Chief Virologist of the Mylab Lifesolutions Pvt. Ltd. of Pune who designed the coronavirus kit that gives result within 2 hour 30 minutes.
She was in pregnancy and expecting her baby in a few hours. She submitted the documentation of the kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) on 18 March. She gave birth to a daughter. Before giving birth, she had been working day and night in her heart condition and doctors also delayed her delivery for her noble work. The doctors also allowed her, in spite of her life-threatening risk, to remain involve in making Covid-19 test kit to save the countrymen, because all the Covid-19 tests were being performed with kits imported from abroad.
Mylab Lifesolutions Pvt. Ltd. became the first Indian company to receive approval to make and sell coronavirus testing kits in India. The first batch of 150 kits has been shipped into diagnostic laboratories in Pune, Maharastra, Delhi, Bengaluru and Goa this week. Mylab Lifesolutions Pvt. Ltd. also prepares testing kit for HIV, Hepatitis B & C and other diseases. Dr. Gautam Wankhede, the Director of Medical Affairs, Mylab Lifesolutions Pvt. Ltd., disclosed the matter in an interview with the BBC news channel that they can supply almost 1,00,000 Covid-19 testing kits per week and also have the capacity to produce 2,00,000 kits if required.
One kit that is developed in India, costs ₹1200 ($16.03 and €14.35) and can be used for testing 100 samples – almost a quarter of the price (₹4500) which India used to pay importing from abroad.
RT-PCR is a test that can detect what is the nature of the genome of a virus attached to the body. That is, whether it is an RNA virus or not. Accurate results are available in RT-PCR test in case of covid-19 infection. However, this test takes a lot of time and money. A quick test requires such a kit that will detect if there is an infection in the body. Dr. Minal Bhosle told in an interview that along with external signs, those who are asymptomatic, will quickly be detected by this Indian kit whether they have viral infections in their body or not. Quarantine centers are crowded with people all over the country. You can quickly identify who is infected through this test. If thousands of people come in contact with that infected person, they too can be screened-tested quickly.
The new coronavirus testing kit is named ‘Patho Detect’ and can detect infection within 2 hour 30 minutes. Under the supervision of ICMR ( Indian Council of Medical Research), 50 more laboratories in the country have been approved to prepare this test kit. Director of Mylab Lifesolutions, Pune, Dr. Gautam Wankhede told reporters that more 118 test labs in India are working to prepare this kit.