New Delhi: A team of Indian scientists have developed a ground-breaking coronavirus test that costs as low as 500 rupees. The scientists have named the test which uses Crispr technology as “Feluda” after the popular Bengali fictional detective in Satyajit Ray books. Feluda uses the traditional nasal sample to identify the coronavirus in a person. The procedure is akin to pregnancy tests with two blue lines indicating a positive result and one blue line indicating a negative result in a person. The traditional PCR tests and antigen tests are being used now to diagnose a person if he or she carries the coronavirus. Although both tests are validated and widely used in India and across the world, these tests take time and can cost upwards of Rs. 2500 with prices varying depending on the test site.

The paper-based test was developed by the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi. After a nasal sample was collected from a suspected coronavirus patient, the sample will be sent to a lab and then the virus will be identified by using CRISPR technology. India has ramped up its testing efforts recently with more than 1 lakh people being tested on daily basis. There had been some reports in the recent weeks that there was a dip in testing in India. Health officials say that Feluda test will be effective in a country like India with massive population and the new testing procedure will enable the lab technicians to issue results in a speedy manner and not troubling the already distressed patients financially.

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