New Delhi: Nadeem Rahman, a biochemist who developed India’s first indigenous Antibody based COVID-19 testing kit in response to World Health Organisation (WHO)’s call to all countries to ramp up coronavirus testing.
Rahman is Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumnus from the Department of Biochemistry and Director of NuLife Consultants and Distributors Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. The testing kit takes less than 15 minutes to yield an accurate result.
The kit was developed in just a span of two weeks and approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and soon the regular production will start, said Rahman.
“We are confident of churning out one lakh kits a day to bring a faster and suitable solution for large-scale screenings,” he added.
Thanking the Government of Uttar Pradesh and ICMR for putting the trust in his team, Rahman pointed out that a set of the testing kit will cost around 500-600 Rupees and the price is likely to further go down.
“The best part of this rapid and lesser time-taking kit is that it is economical to produce unlike the expensive RT-PCR testing kits,” he said. Rahman added that the anti-body based kit will ease the pressure on the pathology services struggling with COVID-19 detection in the Country.
Presently the government uses the expensive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests that costs around 4,500 rupees to detect novel coronavirus from samples of throat or nasal swab of people with symptoms or high-risk individuals who might have come in contact with positive patients.
As per Health Ministry officials, rapid antibody test is most suitable to detect whether the disease is spreading in the hotspots but RT-PCR remained the gold standard frontline test for the government which could provide sure-shot confirmation.
The government is employing the rapid antibody test mainly for surveillance and epidemiological purposes, rather than as definite proof of a person being infected with the coronavirus.
A source from Health Ministry suggested that India already has purchased around 5 lakh Rapid Antibody based testing kits from USA, China and South Korea. These new testing kits are priced between Rs 2,000-3,000 depending on their availability and supply.