Saline Gargle Covid Test Technology Transferred To Union Ministry Of MSMEs, To Be Useful In Remote Areas Of Country
To test for Covid-19 under this method, a person has to gargle the saline solution provided in the testing tube for 15 seconds.
After gargling, the person is required to spit the solution back into the testing tube and send it for testing.
The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has completed the transfer of technology of Saline Gargle RT-PCR testing method for testing Covid-19 samples to the Union Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Under this technology, results can be generated within three hours.
The ceremonial transfer of technology took place on Saturday (11 September) in the presence of the Minister of MSMEs Nitin Gadkari.
The technology has been shared with the ministry on a non-exclusive basis which would allow the innovation to be commercialised and used by all capable entities which include government labs, private labs and other government departments.
The new licensees are expected to set up manufacturing facilities for commercial use in the form of easily usable compact kits. The transfer of technology was expedited considering the seriousness of the pandemic and a possibility of a third wave.
This transfer would enable quick transmission of latest technology to places which need them the most. This method of testing is especially useful in rural and remote regions of the country which have minimal health infrastructure.
What is the Saline Gargle Technology?
The indigenous technology was developed this May by the Nagpur-based NEERI, under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at the same time.
To test for Covid-19 under this method, a person has to gargle the saline solution provided in the testing tube for 15 seconds. After gargling, the person is required to spit the solution back into the testing tube and send it for testing.
The sample in the tube is taken to a testing facility where it is kept in a buffer solution (prepared by NEERI) and heated.
The heated solution produces an RNA template which is processed further for RT-PCR.
The result is obtained within three hours after sample collection.
The Saline Gargle method is simpler as the collection of sample does not require the supervision of a health worker as collection can be done by the patient itself.
Moreover, it is also a non-invasive, cheaper and quicker way to get oneself tested.
According to NEERI, the waste generated from this method is lesser than the traditional method of testing. Due to these benefits, this method can be deployed in tribal and remote regions of the country.
The principal inventor of Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology is NEERI scientist Dr. Krishna Khairnar and the team of research scholars of Environmental Virology at CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur.
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