On Wednesday, IIT Kharagpur said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed the efficacy of the method in COVIRAP. COVIRAP is a new diagnostic test for the COVID-19 developed by IIT Kharagpur.
COVIRAP: An overview
It is a new diagnostic test for the COVID-19 developed by IIT Kharagpur. It has an automated pre-programmable temperature control unit, a special detection unit on genomic analysis, and a customized smartphone app for results. These three work together to tell and confirm the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in one’s body.
The samples are collected and reacted with the mixes and then the paper strips are dipped into these reaction products. As an outcome, colored lines mark the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in one’s body.
Professor of IIT Kharagpur also informed that the technology has been subjected to rigorous testing protocols as per ICMR guidelines.
How COVIRAP is special?
At present, RT-PCR is used for testing the presence of the virus in one’s body. RT-PCR is highly accurate but it requires an advanced lab infrastructure and antigen test in order to give results in less time (in minutes), however, they have lower accuracy.
At the same time, COVIRAP gives the result within an hour. This test can be handled by unskilled with ultra-low-cost portable unit operators outside the lab environment. Thus, it is a cheaper and portable alternative to high-end RTPCR machines.
The patented machine unit is also very generic. As apart from testing for the coronavirus, it can be used to perform tests for the disease including
which means that it can perform tests beyond Covid-19 — for dengue, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, TB, etc.
Testing Trait in India
India has tested 9.72 crore samples until October 20 and has been meeting the WHO-suggested threshold of 140 tests per million population per day. While new cases have been declining daily, experts have said the focus should remain on ensuring access to tests in places where fewer than 140/million tests are done per day.