Kerala-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, has developed a cheaper diagnostic kit `Chitra Gene LAMP- N'' for testing COVID-19.
"This is a technology based on loop-mediated amplification gene. This is basically a simple temperature amplification of a gene. This technology already existed for different diagnostic purposes. Tuberculosis was our target which was started two years back and that technology was mature that time and WHO and ICMR came and looked at it and validated," Dr Anoop Kumar T, senior Scientist said.
"We were almost ready for a national-level screening using this technique. That is the stage at which COVID-19 came. We thought that we have a platform and we know that the LAMP works very well," he added.
He said that while checking this technology, they realizes that the LAMP "works 100 per cent perfect".
"We went to the National Institute of Virology and checked whether this technology is working. During validation, we found that all positives get 100 pc positive and all negatives also showed 100 pc negative," Kumar said.
"Biggest advantage is, this is cheaper and in every district, hospitals can have testing facility with minimum training to technical staff. We could screen approximately 5000 to 7000 people can in a day. The costing of test is less than Rs 1000 for patient," he added.
The cost is less than that being charged by some private labs for COVID-19 test. (ANI)