It has been a year since the first known COVID-19 case was reported in China. Since then, countries across the globe have been dealing with a surge in the number of cases and have adopted various different strategies to fight it.
Now, an indigenously developed testing kit for the coronavirus — that gets its name from the fictitious detective, Feluda, in a series of novels written by Satyajit Ray — has been launched. The paper-strip test was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research in September this year.
As of now, a SARS-CoV 2 test conducted by an authorised laboratory in India takes upto 24 hours to share the results with you. However, Feluda, which is based on the gene-editing technology Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), gives you the results in less than an hour.
Things to know about this test kit
- Developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), the Feluda paper strip test has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for a commercial launch.
- This test has been launched by the TATA group in collaboration with the Apollo group of hospitals.
- This is the first paper-based testing kit that will be available across Apollo labs.
- With almost 2000 people having used this test kit, it was found that it had a 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity.
- The Feluda test results can be obtained in about 40 minutes.
- Similar to a home pregnancy test kit, two blue lines indicate a positive result, while a single blue line means the test has returned negative.
- No further RT-PCR based confirmation is required for samples that are confirmed as positive or negative by the CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 test, an advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earlier had stated.
- The test kit is now available in Delhi and by the end of November, is likely to be available across 8 metros, including, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad.
- The Feluda test kit is being retailed as Tata MD Check.
- This kit will not be available as an Over The Counter kit and will need a phlebotomist for swab collection.
- This testing kit will be made available across Apollo hospitals and associated laboratories.
- This kit has not been approved for self-testing.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)