India’s new paper Covid-19 test could be a ‘game changer’

The new Feluda test uses a gene-editing technology to detect the virus
The new Feluda test uses a gene-editing technology to detect the virus

A team of scientists in India has developed an inexpensive paper-based test for coronavirus that could give fast results similar to a pregnancy test.

The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Scientists estimate that the kit – called Feluda – would return results in under an hour and cost 500 rupees (about $6.75; £5.25).

Feluda will be made by a leading Indian conglomerate, Tata, and could be the world’s first paper-based Covid-19 test available in the market.

“This is a simple, precise, reliable, scalable and frugal test,” Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific adviser to the Indian government, told the BBC.

Researchers at the Delhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), where Feluda was developed, as well as private labs, tried out the test on samples from

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