Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology here have developed a method to detect COVID-19 which can significantly reduce the test cost, making it affordable for large sections.
- The “probe-free detection assay” has been optimised and tested for sensitivity at the research laboratories of IIT.
- Considering the scale of the ongoing pandemic, development of indigenous kits is the need of the hour.
- The central government on 21st March 2020, recommended that the maximum charge for a COVID-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed ₹4,500.
- All private laboratories which have NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accreditation for real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay for RNA virus will be allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests, according to the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories, which were notified by the Health Ministry on 21st March 2020 night.