A blood test that will allow doctors to determine if a person has had viral infection recently based on presence of antibodies in the blood, is in the offing. As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday invited bids for antibody kit (serological tests) for diagnosis of Covid-19. The ICMR has estimated a tentative requirement of 10,00,000 test kits.
“This test is not specific but research is being done using serological test which shows that it can detect presence of viral DNA even before antibodies are present. This could be used on a mass scale in the community as a specific test for Covid 19 at a very affordable price,” said Dr Harsh Mahajan, founder Mahajan imaging centre
According to the ICMR any manufacturer with Indian based supplier can submit the quotation. It has to be FDA/CE-IVD, ICMR-NIV Pune approved antibody kit (serological test) for diagnosis of COVID-19. “No other condition of the manufacturers/supplier should be entertained due to the time line in connection with current public health emergency of Covid-19,” it said.
“A serological test is basically a test that looks for antibodies in your blood. It is cheaper, quicker and you can do it at a mass scale,” added Dr Mahajan.
The supply, according to the ICMR has to be ensured at Dibrugarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhopal. The last date of receiving quotations is March 26. “Rates per kit in Rupees may be quoted along number of tests that could be done in one kit,” it further said.