India’s first coronavirus testing kit: All you need to know about the woman behind it
With the rate of 6.8 tests per million, India was criticized for not testing enough. Moreover, this was the lowest testing rates in the world. Amidst this, Mylab's research and development chief and Virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale created the first made-in-India coronavirus testing kit during her last stage of pregnancy. The test kit was the need of the hour when the country was widely criticized for not testing enough. The kit hit the Indian markets to test and confirm the highly contagious disease. India has scaled up the testing after the government granted permission to several certified labs in addition to the government labs.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale with her team made the kit in record time i.e., six weeks and named it Patho Detect. The testing kit costs INR 1,200 and can test 100 samples. Also, the kit gives the result in two and a half hours only in comparison to the imported kits which take six to seven hours.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale stated that the coronavirus is an emergency, so she took this on as a challenge to serve her nation. She also mentioned that her team of 10 worked very hard to make the project a success.
Minal submitted the kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The same evening, she submitted the proposal for the commercial approval to the Indian FDA and the Drugs Control Authority CDSCO. An hour later, she was taken to the hospital to deliver her baby. After giving birth to her baby, Minal told PTI that it was like giving birth to two babies.
As per Dr Wankhede, Mylab's director for medical affairs,“ We were running against time. Our reputation was at stake, we had to get everything right on the first go, and Minal was leading our efforts from the front.”
The team before submitting the kit for evaluation checked all the parameters to ensure all the results were accurate. According to Minal, “If you carry out 10 tests on the same sample, all 10 results should be same and we achieved that. Our kit was perfect."
Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), agreed that the Patho Detect by Mylab was the only made in India kit which achieved 100% results. Virologist Minal and her team began working on the kit in the month of February and within six weeks delivered the kit, a day ahead of delivering her baby.