Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2020

BHU researchers patent new COVID-19 test kit

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh): Researchers at Banaras Hindu University’s Department of Molecular and Human Genetics on Tuesday said that they have invented a new coronavirus test kit that can give “accurate results in 5-6 hours”.

Dr. Geeta Rai speaking to ANI on Tuesday.

They have filed for a patent but it is still a long way to go before the test kit is approved for commercial production.

“We have used the RTPCR method — which has been used as the screening method for COVID-19 worldwide — as our base in order to target the sequence. We have designed primers that target the particular sequence which is only present in COVID-19,” the department’s Associate Professor Dr. Geeta Rai told ANI.

She added that the COVID-19 sequence was not found in any other viruses like SARS. “We are hopeful that when testing is being done, it only detects the COVID-19 sequence and it would reduce the chances of getting a false positive,” she explained.

The ideation began in early March and the patent was filed at the Indian Patent Office on Friday. “Our aim was to ensure that small diagnostic labs can purchase the device and are hopeful that the costing of the test is also low,” said Rai.

Currently, it is at the research stage and it would only come into use once it is approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“It has a long way to go, it needs to be approved. Without approvals, we cannot consider it an achievement. Once it is approved by the ICMR, then only we can call it an achievement,” she added.
The Union Health Ministry said the death toll due to COVID-19 has risen to 32 and the number of total active coronavirus cases to 1,117 as on Monday.

ANI

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