Minal Dakhabe Bhosale – the woman behind India’s first Covid-19 testing kitsMarch 30, 2020 11:21
(Image source from: shethepeople.tv)
If you weren’t informed, India got its first approved Covid-19 testing kits made by a Pune based biomedical firm called Mylabs. While the company has been appraised for their amazing development, it was Minal Dakhabe Bhosale, who made it happen.
The Patho Detect, as the name of the kit is, is a lot more efficient than the first testing kit that Indian was using for its testing needs. While the prior testing kits took four and a half hours to give the results, the Patho Detect gets it done in two and a half.
While India had a rate of 6.8 tests per million, ranging it at one of the lowest, India did experience a lot of criticism for the same. This home grown and developed test kit is the game changer that the country needed for itself.
Minal Dakhabe Bhosale is the research and development chief at Mylab’s and developed the Covid-19 testing kits within a short timespan of just six weeks, all the while being pregnant and delivering a beautiful baby girl just a week before.
Bhosale, along with her team, were working on these testing kits since February, a few days after she left the hospital learning about several complications related to her pregnancy.
Bhosale stated saying, “It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I had to serve my nation.” She also emphasised saying that the same wouldn’t have been possible if her team of 10 members didn’t work just as hard as she did.
Once the final testing kit was done and tested locally, Bhosale submitted it on to the National Institute of Virology for further evaluation on March 18, 2020, just one day before she delivered a healthy baby girl.
The kits were tested on emergency basis and approved when the results came out positive. The testing kits were then made available for the use in the hospitals for testing on Thursday, thereby helping increase the testing frequency in the country.
Bhosale further stated saying, “Our kit gives the diagnosis in just two and a half hours while the imported testing kits can take as long as six to seven hours.”
Mylabs Discovery Solution, the company which got the approval for the development of the testing kits in India confirmed stating that they can manufacture 15,000 kits in a day from their available facility situated in Lonavala, Maharashtra.
They also said that in times of dire need, they can increase the rate to 25,000 a day as well.
The first shipment with 150 testing kits was sent to several of the testing hubs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru for their first round of testing.
Dr Gautam Wankhede, who is the director of medical affairs at Mylab, stated saying, “Our manufacturing unit is working through the weekend and the next batch of the testing kits will be sent out on Monday.”
Mylabs is also known for their production of the testing kits for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The company said that they can make as many as 100,000 testing kits in a week and increase the number to 200,000 in a week, if needed.
Each of the Mylab testing kit has the potency of testing 100 samples in one go and will cost INR 1200, which is a fraction of what India pays to import the testing kits internationally.
India has scaled up their testing and is now testing everyone who is admitted to the hospitals with complaints of respiratory disease, international travel history and the similar signs of the coronavirus infection.
Currently, the number of confirmed cases in India has surpassed 1000, with 28 reported deaths.
By Somapika Dutta