New Delhi, November 19: Feluda coronavirus paper strip testing kits will be launched in Delhi on Thursday by the Tata group in collaboration with the Apollo group of hospitals, according to a Hindustan Times report. It was recently announced by Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (TataMD) that the Feluda testing strip would be marketed as “TataMD’s CHECK”.

The test is likely to be cheaper than the current gold standard RT-PCR and equally accurate. This will surely ramp up COVID-19 testings in the national capital. The kit was approved by Indian Council of Medical Research in September.  Feluda kit has a high sensitivity of 96 percent and specificity of 98 percent, which means that it can accurately detect both positive and negative cases.

Here's how the Feluda Testing Kit works: 

Researchers from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology named the test Feluda after the eponymous Bengali fictional detective. The kit priced at Rs 500 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes, is able to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other coronaviruses even if genetic variations between them are minute. Feluda changes colour if the virus is detected and doesn't need expensive machines for detection.

The CRISPR technology uses a highly specific CAS9 protein to find and bind to the target Covid signature. This is then coupled with paper-strip chemistry to elicit a visual readout on a paper strip.

Over the past few days, Delhi recorded a  huge rise in COVID-19 cases. Notably, the national capital is witnessing the third wave of COVID-19. The city added a huge amount of cases and deaths amid the festive season. There are currently over 40,000 active cases in Delhi.

The national capital on Wednesday reported the highest single-day death due to COVID-19 so far. In the national capital, 131 people succumbed to coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 19, 2020 10:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website