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COVID-19: Union Minister Dhotre launches rapid antigen test kit developed by IIT Delhi

The ICMR-certified kit can be used for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen and is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of COVID-19.

Dhotre asked premier institutes in the country to make research centres and innovation parks in their campuses more vibrant and activate industry academia linkages. Dhotre asked premier institutes in the country to make research centres and innovation parks in their campuses more vibrant and activate industry academia linkages.

Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre on Friday launched a COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit developed by a team of researchers from IIT Delhi.

The ICMR-certified kit can be used for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen and is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of COVID-19. The results obtained by it are qualitative based and can be inferred visually with the naked eye.

The technology and manufacturing for the kit are 100 per cent indigenous, said Dr Harpal Singh, head of the team of researchers who developed the testing kit and professor at the Institute's Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

Congratulating the researchers, Dhotre said, "I am confident that this technology will revolutionise the Covid test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi."

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Thanking IIT Delhi for helping the nation in becoming 'Atmanirbhar' in fighting the pandemic, the minister asked premier institutes in the country to make research centres and innovation parks in their campuses more vibrant and activate industry academia linkages.

In July 2020, IIT Delhi had launched RT-PCR test kit for COVID-19 for Rs 399, which helped bring RT-PCR test costs to the current level, the Institute's director V Ramgopal Rao said, adding that over 8 million PPE kits have been supplied so far using the technologies developed in the Institute.

"With the launch of this antigen based rapid test kit, we hope to make the diagnostics easy and affordable for the rural areas," Rao said.

Dr Singh said the test has a sensitivity of 90 per cent, specificity of 100 per cent and an accuracy of 98.99 per cent. "These are the one of the best available values for any such test kits," he added.

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