In order to ramp up the country’s testing capacity for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Friday approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting coronavirus tests.
The ICMR has validated ‘TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation’ and has recommended it as a screening test, the apex health research body said in a release.
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Issuing guidance on the use of Truenat beta CoV, the ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium (VTM) with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit.
“Earlier studies have shown that virus lysis buffer neutralizes Nipah and H1N1 viruses. The results of the stability of viral RNA after neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by virus lysis buffer are awaited from ICMR-NIV, Pune.
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“Till such time, Truenat beta CoV test should only be performed with all biosafety precautions in BSL-2 or BSL-3 setups at laboratories,” it said.
The body also said it will issue revised guidelines once the results from ICMR-NIV, Pune are available.
India has far reported 6,412 cases of Covid-19, including 503 patients who have been treated and discharged and 199 deaths. Out of these, Maharashtra has over one-fifth of these cases at 1,364, and 95 deaths while Tamil Nadu has 834 cases and 8 deaths.
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