New Delhi: In what could play a critical role in surveillance for coronavirus infection, the National Institute of Virology in Pune has successfully developed the first indigenous antibody detection kit for COVID-19. Notably, the testing kits are cost-effective, sensitive, rapid, and a large number of samples can be tested at any level of clinical setting, public health centers and hospitals. Also Read - No New COVID-19 Case Reported in 10 States, UTs in Last 24 hours, Says Harsh Vardhan

Developed in a month’s time, the testing kit would help to study the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in the Indian population. Also Read - Covid-19 Fatality Rate 3.3%, Recovery Rate 29.9%: Decoding Harsh Vardhan's 'Good Indicators' as India Prepares For The Worst

The test kit has the advantage of testing 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours, so that healthcare professionals can proceed quickly with necessary next steps, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. Also Read - 'Stringent Action, Less Relaxation', Harsh Vardhan Counters CM Kejriwal's 'Time to Reopen Capital' Remark

“National Institute of Virology, Pune, has successfully developed the 1st indigenous anti-SARS-CoV-2 human IgG ELISA test kit for antibody detection of COVID-19,” the minister said in one of a series of tweets.

“This robust test will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of population exposed to SARSCoV2 infection,” he said.

This kit was validated at two sites in Mumbai and has high sensitivity and accuracy, Vardhan said.

The ELISA-based testing is easily possible even at district level, he said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology, Pune, technology has been transferred to Zydus Cadila for mass-scale production.

The Drug Controller General has granted commercial production and marketing permission to Zydus, Vardhan said.

(With agency inputs)