India to roll out FELUDA Paper strip tests for COVID-19
On October 11, 2020, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that India is to roll out Feluda Paper Strip test in next few weeks.
The minister made the announcement during the fifth edition of “Sunday Samvaad”. Sunday Samvaad is an interactive session held by the minister in social media. The minister also said that under the Centre’s Vaccines strategy, the prioritisation of groups of COVID-19 vaccines is based on two key conisderations as follows
- Risk of Exposure to infection and Occupational Hazard
- Risk of developing severe disease and increased mortality.
The minister also said that the ICMR is studying about the burden of re-infected cases in the country. Reinfected are those persons that are infected by a freshly introduced virus in the body after complete recovery.
It was recently approved by DCGI (Drug Controller General of India). It was indigenously developed by the CSIR-IDIB based on the CRISPR gene editing technology. The test is capable of producing results in two hours. It is the first test to use CRISPR Casp protein to detect COVID-19. The cost of the test kit will be less than Rs 600. The test was developed under Make in India initiative.
FELUDA is FNCAS9 editor linked uniform detection.
Other COVID-19 tests in India
The other COVID-19 tests that are in implementation are RT PCR, Rapid Antigen Detection Test, ELISA Antibody Test, Saliva Direct Test.
COVID-19 Vaccines in India
There are three COVID-19 vaccines that are currently under trials in India. They are COVAXIN developed by ICMR and Bharat Biotech, ZyCoV D developed by Zydus and Oxford University vaccine.
COVAX of GAVI alliance
India has signed the COVAX facility of the GAVI alliance. The facility has been created to make sure all the countries get equal access to COVID-19 vaccine irrespective of their income levels. With the current race to get vaccines for COVID-19, the lower income countries might not get enough access. The GAVI alliance has brought in COVAX facility to avoid this.
Category: Science & Technology Current Affairs
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