Virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale is the research and development chief of Mylab Discovery in Pune, the first Indian company to get full approval to make and sell coronavirus testing kits. The molecular diagnostic company has been successful in creating a kit that can test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 – a quarter of Rs 4,500 per kit that the government has been spending on testing so far. Also Read - UP News: 21 Fresh Coronavirus Cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Total Tally at 591
Minal Dakhave Bhosale headed the team that designed the coronavirus testing kit. She began working on it just days after leaving the hospital with a pregnancy complication in February – and managed to submit the kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology on March 18, just a day before she delivered her daughter. Also Read - 'Govt Penalising Doctors', Delhi Medical Association Hits Out at CM Kejriwal For Warning Hospitals Over COVID-19 Crisis
During a telephonic interview with PTI, Bhosale said, “It was like giving birth to two babies. There were complications in the pregnancy while work on the test kit was on. The baby was delivered through cesarean. I had been working for five years in this field and if I don’t work in emergency situations when my services are needed the most, then what is the use?” Also Read - Procure And Stock PPE Kits, Oxygen Masks For 3 Months, Delhi Govt Directs Hospitals Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases
Though Bhosale was not able to visit the office due to the pregnancy, she was guiding a team of 10 persons working on the project at Mylab Discovery in Pune. The strong bonds forged with the team over the years and their support made it possible, she said.
Company’s co-founder Shrikant Patole said just like drug discovery, test kits too go through a lot of quality checks to improve the precision. He credited Bhosale for the success of the project. The COVID-19 testing kit delivered by Bhosale’s team will reduce the time taken for delivering a result to 2.5 hours from the prevalent practice of eight hours.
As of Sunday, the total number of coronavirus cases in India reached 1,024, as Delhi witnessed a spike of 23 cases in a single day. Of the total 1,024, 901 are active cases, 95 people have recovered from the disease and 27 have lost their lives, while one patient migrated to another country.
According to experts, high scale testing is essential because it alone can ensure early diagnosis of COVID-19 and lower down the fatalities. The company is confident of ramping up the capacity at its plant in Lonavala to deliver one lakh kits a week, Patole said. The co-founder said the authorities are helping the company, including giving priority for the shipping of the raw materials.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale has been achieving appreciation for what she did by many celebrities such as Soni Razdan and industrialist Anand Mahindra.