Indian gov't says CCMB may soon come up with diagnostic kits for COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-25 17:09:14|Editor: xuxin
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NEW DELHI, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government Wednesday said its Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) would soon come up with accurate diagnostic kits for testing of COVID-19.

"We are helping our incubating companies; they have come out with ideas and we are supporting them. We are testing and validating the diagnostic kits proposed by them. We may come up with some good kits and it may take at least two to three weeks if everything goes well," said Dr R K Mishra, director of CCMB.

"Quality and accuracy of the kits are the most important things. If the kits give 100 percent results, then only they will be approved," said Mishra.

India's federal ministry of science and technology said CCMB was working overtime on the development of cost-effective and accurate diagnostic kits for wide distribution. CCMB is a premier research organization in frontier areas of modern biology in India.

"Our estimate is that the test should be less than 1,000 rupees (13 U.S. dollars). We are also thinking of kits which are as cheap as 400-500 rupees (5-6 U.S. dollars), but at present, we cannot assure that, as it is a different route and all this needs more standardization," Mishra said.

CCMB is also planning to culture the COVID-19 virus, the ministry said.

"In the meantime, our facilities are set and we are actually training people who are going for the testing in other recognized places," Mishra said.

The ministry said as of now CCMB was neither working on the vaccine nor on the drug development.

"We have no expertise for working on this. However, when the virus is being cultured, we will try to set up a system as it can be used for screening," Mishra said.

On Wednesday the Indian government began the 21-day lockdown across the country to contain the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

All road, rail and air services will remain suspended during the lockdown, which came into force early Wednesday. However, essential services have been exempted from the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday morning in India rose to 562.

So far nine deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported across the country.