A fast, reliable and cheap test to detect infection with the emerging coronavirus, consisting of a thin strip made of interactive paper, will soon be available in India, after it was developed by scientists in this country to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
The examination was named "Veloda", after the hugely popular investigative figure composed by the famous Indian filmmaker Satyajit Rai (1921-1992).
This Covid-19 test uses the "molecular scissors" technique known as "CRISPR Cas9", developed by French geneticists Emmanuel Charpantier and American Jennifer Doudna, and the two scientists were awarded this year with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work in this field.
For this examination, samples are taken from the nose, which is very similar to the pregnancy tests that are conducted at home, with a paper strip that shows two colored lines in case the result is positive, knowing that this examination provides the result within one hour.
"This examination does not require any advanced equipment or highly qualified personnel," said one of the developers of the test, Sofik Mighty, from the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in New Delhi.
"Many remote areas of India lack sophisticated laboratories," Maiti said, adding that the test "will be distributed more easily and will reach a greater number of people," according to "AFP".
India has recorded more than 7.5 million injuries, and is the second most affected country in the world after the United States.
And the new Corona virus infection has spread from cities with a large population such as Bombay, to rural areas where the availability of health services is limited.
Scientists running this test hope that this rapid test will allow the virus to be detected in the poorest areas of the country.
India is currently using RT-PCR virus detection tests, which require sophisticated laboratory equipment as well as antigen tests, are much faster and do not require in vitro analysis, but are much less accurate.
The "BCR" tests reveal the genetic fingerprints of the emerging corona virus, while the antigen test detects the presence of proteins specific to this virus.
The "Veloda" examination is considered a major advance in India, as are other tests developed in various countries, because its result is reliable, such as the "PCR" examination, with its availability much more easily, according to what the administrators confirm.
It received the green light from the Indian authorities controlling the sector, and Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardan confirmed last week that it could be distributed across the country by the large "Tata" group in the coming weeks.
And if that happens, India will be one of the first countries to make widespread use of such tests.
There was no information about its price, but local media indicated that it cost approximately 500 rupees (5.8 euros). On the other hand, a PCR test may cost 2,400 rupees in a private laboratory in New Delhi.