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The indigenously developed Feluda paper strip test is based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.
The indigenously developed Feluda paper strip test is based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus test: Delhi to get Feluda paper strip test kit today

  • The first batch of Feluda paper strip test will be made available in Delhi, which is India’s one of the worst-hit states
  • The Feluda test has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for use in the country

A fast and cheap paper-based Covid-19 test, called Feluda, will be launched in the national capital on 19 November by the Tata group in collaboration with the Apollo group of hospitals, reports Hindustan Times.

The first batch of Feluda paper strip test, which has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for use in the country, will only be made available in Delhi, one of India’s worst-hit states.

Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (TataMD) had earlier announced that the paper-strip kit would be marketed as “TataMD’s CHECK".

The price has not been released yet, but earlier reports said it could cost around 500 rupees -- around a fifth of what a PCR test costs in Delhi.

How does Feluda Covid test work?

The indigenously developed Feluda paper strip test is based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

The paper-strip uses cutting-edge CRISPR gene-editing technology to identify and target the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the deadly virus that causes Covid-19 in less than an hour.

Named after a detective in a famous Indian novel series, Feluda resembles a home pregnancy paper-strip test and delivers results in around 40 minutes.

No further RT-PCR based confirmation is required for samples that are confirmed as positive or negative by the CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 test, an advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earlier had stated.

The test has been developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIRs) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi, and has been validated by the National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Feluda test

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said that based on tests in more than 2,000 patients during the trials at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and testing in private labs, the tests 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 around 99% specificity, Union Health Minister had added.

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