There’s a team of scientists from India that developed a cheap paper-based test for the new coronavirus – it seems that it can give fast results, and the test is similar to a pregnancy test. It’s called a Feluda test, and it uses gene-editing technology in order to detect the virus.
The test is named after an Indian fictional detective. The technology is called Crispr. They estimate that the kit will get the results in one hour, and it costs 500 rupees – that’s around $6.75 and £5.25.
The test is made by a leading Indian conglomerate, called Tata, and it’s the world’s first paper-based Covid-19 test.
Professor K Vijay Raghavan stated: “This is a simple, precise, reliable, scalable and frugal test.” Researchers tried the test on 2000 patients – including people that have already been tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The science behind the test
The test had 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity. The accuracy of the test is based on these two factors. A test that’s sensitive will detect almost everyone that carries the virus. A test that’s specific will rule out everyone that does not have the virus. The first one – the one with 96% sensitivity – gives the assurance that there will not be too many false negative results. The second one – with the 98% specificity – gives the assurance that there will not be too many false positive results.
India’s drug regulator has given the green light for commercial use. The country has the world’s second-highest Covid-19 number of cases. There are more than 100,000 people in the country that have died due to the virus.
Right now, India is testing a million samples a day in around 1000 laboratories.