A new Covid-19 test developed by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) can test 20,000-50, 000 Covid-19 samples daily — a “breakthrough” that could significantly enhance India’s testing capacity, according to the institute’s director Rakesh Mishra.
In an interview to The Print, Mishra said if all goes well, the new ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ (NGS) kit will be operational in about four weeks. “It will change the game,” he said.
According to Mishra, the new kit will offer diagnosis through sequencing of several pieces of the virus genetic material, and lessen the chances of inaccurate testing. The new testing module will also help in surveillance of Covid-19 suspects, he said. “The ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ will help in diagnosis and surveying the disease at a much faster rate,”
This is a ‘high-throughput’ process that saves both time and cost. Additionally, the improved machines also come with improved sensitivity and are capable of detecting the virus RNA with fewer chances of a false negative.
The project is in collaboration with Syngene, a Bengaluru-based company. The process for the kit’s approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India’s nodal Covid-19 testing body, is underway, said the CCMB director.