What Is The Feluda Paper Strip Test For Covid-19? 5 Things To Know

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A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for Covid-19 during random testing of people at Delhi-Noida border on November 18, 2020. 
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for Covid-19 during random testing of people at Delhi-Noida border on November 18, 2020.

The indigenously developed Feluda (FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay) paper strip test for Covid-19 will be launched in Delhi on Thursday and be available in other states by November end, according to reports. The test is called a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to RT-PCR, the gold standard in the diagnosis of Covid, and more accurate than an antigen test.

Feluda will be launched in Delhi by the Tata group in collaboration with the Apollo group of hospitals, according to Hindustan Times. The report also said that Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (TataMD) had announced earlier this month that the paper-strip kit would be marketed as “TataMD’s CHECK”.

The test gets its name from the fictitious detective in a series of novels written by Satyajit Ray.

Here are five things you need to know about the new test:

1. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said last month that based on tests in over 2,000 patients during the trials at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and testing in private labs, the test showed 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity.

“This compares favourably to ICMR’s current acceptation criteria of RT-PCR Kit of at least 95% sensitivity and at least 99% specificity,” he stated.

2. The Feluda paper strip test has been developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) and has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India for a commercial launch.

“The kit has already been validated by the Department of Atomic Energy’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore,” Vardhan had said.

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