Amidst Coronavirus outbreak, ICMR invites tender for 1 million testing kits

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) invited quotations from manufacturers to provide around 10 lakh kits to test suspected corona virus patients. These kits would be provided to ICMR’s regional facilities at Mumbai, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bhopal.

Any India-based supplier or manufacturer can bid to get the tender. Considering the urgency to tackle coronavirus spread which has so far claimed 29 lives in the country, ICMR has randomly checked some of the samples and found that there is no community transmission yet in India.

There are over 1000 active cases in the country. Considering the situation, ICMR has asked for details regarding price per kit along with the number of tests that can be done with single kit. The eligibility criteria is only restricted to systems which are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Till now, ICMR has only approved commercial use in India for those test kits which have shown 100% error-free results.

However, CoSara Diagnostics Pvt Ltd became the first Indian company to get a licence to produce Covid-19 testing kits from both Indian and the US drug regulators. It would be providing 10,000 such diagnostic kits from the first week of April.

The high-level committee on testing strategy is contemplating that whether serological tests will allow researchers to understand the behavior of virus.

The virus can be tested in a laboratory through a Real Time-PCR, followed by gene fingerprinting. Presently, there are 15 functional labs in India to test the novel coronavirus and 19 more would be operational soon.

Since the pandemic struck in China in December, it has affected 734,998 people in 172 countries including 155,965 recoveries and 34,781 deaths.

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