Minal Dakhave Bhosale: Meet the woman behind India's first coronavirus testing kit
Pune : India has been receiving criticism from all across the world for its poor rate of testing people in the battle against coronavirus. This is set to change as a virologist delivered a working test kit hours before delivering her baby.
India's first coronavirus testing kit reached Indian markets on Thursday to increase frequency to test patients with flu symptoms to confirm or rule out the Covid-19 infection.
Mylab Discovery, in the western city of Pune, turned out to be the first Indian firm to get full approval to make and sell testing kits. It shipped the first batch of 150 to diagnostic labs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru (Bangalore) this week.
"Our manufacturing unit... is working through the weekend and the next batch will be sent out on Monday," Dr Gautam Wankhede, Mylab's director for medical affairs, told the BBC on Friday.
The company has claimed that they can supply up to 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits a week and can produce up to 200,000 if needed. Each Mylab kit can test 100 samples and costs 1,200 rupees ($16; £13) - that's about a quarter of the 4,500 rupees that India pays to import Covid-19 testing kits from abroad.
Virologist delivered kit, then her baby
Virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale deserves all praise for her dedication to serve the nation; she claimed that they kit is much faster than the available international kits to deliver the results.
"Our kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take six-seven hours," BBC quoted virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale, Mylab's research and development chief.
"It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation," she says, adding that her team of 10 worked "very hard" to make the project a success.
In the end, she submitted the kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) on 18 March, just a day before delivering her daughter.
The government-run Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), under which NIV operates, agreed. It said Mylab was the only Indian company to achieve 100% results.