New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) The Director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Anurag Aggarwal, claimed on Monday that indigenous tests kits for diagnosis of COVID-19 are likely to be available in the next two weeks.
Speaking to IANS, Aggarwal said, “Indigenous technology has been approved and is very effective, comparable or better than the rest. The only problem is the supply chain, these are young companies which have to import some of the materials.”
“There are some issues in imports, especially because the whole world is trying to make kits. But we expect that within next two weeks these companies promoted by CSIR and other departments will be able to push things into the market and make things available by the middle of April,” he said.
When asked what would be the shortest goal in the fight against coronavirus, he said, “The shortest goal is to reduce transmission because cure of no virus is perfectly known. In fact, you can barely think of any viral infection of which has perfect cure, unlike bacterial infections. So reducing transmission is by far the most important goal.”
The IGIB Director suggested that there is a three-step method to reduce transmission — firstly, you do distancing; secondly, you find out people who have been affected fast so you can separate them effectively; thirdly, you find people who may have been exposed or have minor symptoms.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the scientists and officials of ICMR, CSIR other government department. These people are from the team which is assisting in combating COVID-19.
The objective of the meeting was to review the sampling and testing strategy of India in order to control the pandemic.
According to official data, there are 123 functional labs provided by ICMR and 7 are in the pipeline. The testing capacity is 13,000 per day.