The first fully indigenously developed Covid kit has been launched and IIT-Delhi is also working on developing a ‘long time active sanitizer’.
Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre on June 25 launched an “affordable” and “indigenous” Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kit for Covid-19 developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
While several RAT kits are available in the market, the “first fully indigenous” kit developed by IIT researchers is much more affordable and will be available for purchase at Rs 50.
“This is a joint program of IIT and AIIMS, and we have labs at both places. Covid pandemic has been there in India for one and a half years now. The best method of detection is RT-PCR, but it requires time, and the report arrives after a day or two. In RT-PCR testing, the samples have to be sent to labs. People wanted a faster method that was self-testing kind or could be done at home for general population screening,” said Dr. Harpal Singh, professor at the IIT-Delhi’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.
“We developed both anti-body based and antigen-based rapid detection kits. Today, we have launched the rapid antigen-based detection kit. We are not the first one to come up with such a kit, but in India, this is the first of its kind indigenous kit. Our kit is as good as the best Korean option in the market. We will sell the kit at Rs 50, which is quite cheaper than the Korean kit that is Rs 200,” he added.
Dr. Singh said that IIT Delhi partnered with a Delhi-based company and both ICMR and DGCI have now approved the kit and will be available in the market soon.
Further, the professor informed his team is also working on one of its kind “long time active sanitizer”
“We have also developed a sanitizer. It is an alcohol-based sanitizer that will put a polymer coating on the hand. If any microbe touches the hand, it will be killed. The polymer layer is water-insoluble and will not be removed till another sanitizer is applied on hand,’ he said.
He said the polymer layer contains “antimicrobial agents”.
“It’s a one-time application sanitizer. People don’t have to apply sanitizer multiple times a day. The coating remains till over 30 washes. If this product goes to the industry, it will be the first of its kind long-time active sanitizer,” he added.