IIT Kharagpur's low cost COVID-19 testing method gets ICMR nod

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COVIRAP, made by IIT Kharagpur researchers. (Photo/ANI)
COVIRAP, made by IIT Kharagpur researchers. (Photo/ANI)

Kharagpur (West Bengal) [India], October 22 (ANI): A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur has developed a low-cost portable unit for rapid diagnostics of coronavirus, which produces results in under an hour.

According to the IIT team, the unit called COVIRAP has been approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research and various commercial units have already approached them for technology licensing.

The young researchers also claim that the testing facility, can be housed anywhere and an air-conditioned lab is not required. This new testing method implements a highly reliable and accurate molecular diagnostic procedure, conducted in an ultra-low-cost portable device unit and costs only around Rs. 500 per test.

Each test requires a kit, three master-mixes which are made by the team. After several steps of mixing and heating, an image of the testing strips is grabbed by a smartphone camera of a custom-made mobile application, and a definite result is produced.

"COVIRAP has been vigorously tested and validated by the ICMR. Their test results have confirmed that the method and results are of highest standards and are comparable to high-end RT-PCR tests," the IIT team said.

They added that it can also check for other diseases, including influenza, malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue, among others. "By developing this machine, it is possible to empower common people to safeguard themselves from an unknown pandemic that may affect human civilization," they said. (ANI)