Written by Naina Singh, a grade 6 student.
Have you read Satyajit Ray’s Feluda series? you must. They are a delightful set of detective stories in which the main protagonist is a Bengali man called Feluda – his name is Felu, but in Bengali, you add da to older brothers, hence Feluda.
This story is, however, not about the detective – but a low-cost paper-based test that detects Covid-19 in less than 30 minutes. This has been approved to be launched for sale by the Drugs Controller General of India.
So, what is the Feluda Test?
Developed by a team of scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group, Feluda (which is an acronym) uses a gene-editing technology called CRISPR to identify the genetic material of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The team claims that the test is extremely accurate, has a quicker turnaround time, and is much cheaper, as it does not need expensive equipment. It will cost Rs.500.
The test was tried out the test on samples from approximately 2,000 patients, which included those who had already tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Feluda test will be a do-it-yourself test in which there will be a paper-strip which will change colour when the infected person’s urine is put on it.
This will be the world’s first paper-based Covid-19 test available in the market.
India now has the world’s second-highest Covid-19 cases, with more than six million confirmed infections.