Why FELUDA, RAY tests for COVID not as popular as RTPCR: HC asks ICMR

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New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) why the COVID detecting tests - FELUDA and RAY - developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have not gained popularity like RTPCR.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli posed the query to ICMR, represented by central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, and sought its response to the same on the next date of hearing.

The court also asked ICMR to inform it about the efficacy of both the tests.

The query was posed after the court was informed by amicus curiae and senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao that not only do both these tests have an efficacy equal to or better than that of RTPCR, but they were cheaper and gave faster results in less than an hour.

Rao said that RAY was an improved version of FELUDA.

The court said that all the ICMR approved tests should be available to the general public, especially those which are cheaper and give accurate and fast results.

The Delhi government said that even though FELUDA and RAY (short for Rapid variant AssaY) tests are cheaper and ICMR approved, the gold standard was still RTPCR.

FELUDA test is based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

The Delhi government also told the bench that it has increased the daily number of RTPCR tests which in the past one week has averaged around 75,000 per day after it fell to below 60,000 last month. PTI HMP RKS RKS

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