The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the commercial launch of ‘Feluda‘ COVID-19 test. The test is developed by the Tata Group and CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology). This is said to be India’s first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) coronavirus test.

A team led by Dr. Souvik Maiti and Dr. Debojyoti Chakraborty, at CSIR-IGIB in Delhi, came up with this simple ‘ paper strip COVID-19 test that gives results in minutes. Moreover, these scientists named it after Satyajit Ray’s famous story character, Feluda.

The Feluda COVID-19 test mainly uses an indigenously-developed CRISPR technology for the detection of the genomic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, CRISPR prominently is a genome editing tech for the diagnosis of diseases

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Tata CRISPR test, powered by CSIR-IGIB, received regulatory approvals as per ICMR guidelines. The test meets high-quality benchmarks with 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus.

In easy words, this Tata CRISPR test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests. Additionally, it has a quicker turnaround time and also uses less expensive equipment with better ease of use.

This Paper-strip Covid-19 Test could reduce the costs of testing. While the RT-PCR (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test (RT-PCR) requires machinery worth lakhs, the ‘Feluda’ test works with less expensive equipment. Therefore, this test could cost just about Rs 500, which is much less than Rs 4,500 for RT-PCR

As per The Print report, it can be used in a way similar to pregnancy test strips. Meanwhile, as per the same report, CSIR Director-General Shekhar C Mande comments that this strip will be similar to a pregnancy test strip. Moreover, the test will not require any special skills and machines to perform, as in PCR-based tests. Furthermore, this strip will just change color and use a simple pathological lab. The most important part is it will be 100 percent accurate

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