CCMB may come up with diagnostic kits for COVID-19 soon

New Delhi (NVI): The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) will be aligning with the WHO’s call for widescale testing for COVID-19 to diagnose the virus in time and is working overtime on the development of cost-effective and accurate diagnostic kits.

(WHO) insists that widescale “testing, testing, and testing” is the key as early diagnosis may help save lives, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.

Dr R K Mishra, Director, CCMB said: “We are helping our incubating companies; they have come out with ideas, and supporting them in testing and validating the diagnostic kits proposed by them.

“We may come up with some good kits and it may take at least 2-3 weeks if everything goes well. Quality and accuracy of the kits are the most important things. If the kits give 100 percent results, then only they will be approved,” he added.

The organization is also keeping in mind the cost, it is estimated that the test should be less than 1,000 rupees, the ministry said. “They are also thinking of kits which are as cheap as 400-500 rupees, but at present cannot assure that, as it is a different route and all this needs more standardisation,” it added.

CCMB is also planning to culture the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Mishra said that the institution has facilities for this, and they have got the approvals from the government too; they are yet to receive samples and kits to initiate the culture.

CCMB has trained 25 people so that they can go and do the testing in these centers. It may soon come up with diagnostic kits for COVID-19.

Some of the labs where the COVID-19 testing will be done include Nizam’sNizam’s Institute Of Medical Sciences (NIMS) Hyderabad, Gandhi Hospital etc. The Centre for DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics (CDFD) is also likely to be added to this group.

However, vaccine and drug development are other aspects of fighting the virus. But as of now, CCMB is neither working on the vaccine nor the drug development.