TB Machines approved by ICMR for COVID-19 testing

On April 4, 2020, the Indian Council of Medical Research approved the use of Tuberculosis machine for conducting COVID-19 tests.

Highlights

Currently India is using the RT-PCR (Real time-Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing recommended by the US and approved by FDA. Along with this, the ICMR has recommended the use of Truenat test. The Truenat test is currently used to detect drug-resistant TB.

About Truenat

The Truenat is a battery-operated device that requires minimal training. The device uses chip-based technology and takes minimum of 60 minutes for a test. There are four-way truenat machines available in India. These machines are capable of running 32 to 48 samples of multiple diseases.

Current Scenario

Today there are total of 800 Truenat machines in India. OF these 457 are in Andhra Pradesh. Around 150 to 200 of these 800 machines are two way machines that are capable of processing 16 to 24 samples in an hour.

The cost of a test on Truenat is Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. Currently, India is importing kits and is not manufacturing locally.

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