COVID-19: IIT Guwahati Develops Affordable Transportation, Testing Kits
The VTM, RT-PCR and RNA isolation kits have been developed jointly by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and RR Animal Healthcare Limited, under the guidance of Guwahati Medical College Hospital, or GMCH.
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, IIT Guwahati, has developed high quality and affordable Viral Transport Media (VTM), RT-PCR and RNA isolation kits, in collaboration with RR Animal Healthcare Limited and with inputs from Guwahati Medical College Hospital, or GMCH. Prof. Parameswar Krishnan Iyer, Prof. Siddhartha Sankar Ghosh from IIT Guwahati and Dr. Labanyamoy Kole of RR Animal Healthcare Limited developed these kits on the request of National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, and as per the standards laid down by the GMCH.
The kits have been officially launched by Assam Health And Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
"Assam has been successfully leading the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and our initiatives have gone a long way in containing this disease in the entire NE region. We want to identify and contain this disease at an early stage and it is vital that we have all the crucial kits and materials so that our frontline healthcare workers and doctors who are doing a commendable job do not face any hurdles, Mr. Sarma said during the launch.
“We are very happy with this product development and launch of the VTM and other COVID-19 related kits in IIT Guwahati, Assam and I congratulate The Director, IIT Guwahati and the faculty members for this development as well as acknowledge other help being provided to us," Mr. Sarma added.
Transportation Of COVID-19 Samples
The VTM kits are designed for safe collection, transportation, and culture of nasal and oral swab. Samples can be stored upto 72 hours at refrigerated temperatures using the VTM kits, according to IIT Guwahati.
“During this period the virus, if present, in the sample specimens should remain intact until the testing procedure is completed. The “SPILD” VTM kits...consists of a comprehensive solution specially formulated for the collection and transport of SARS-CoV-2,” according to IIT Guwahati.
“IIT Guwahati is thankful to Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma for launching these VTM kits, specially developed by IITG on request from the state government, Prof. T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati Said in a statement.
“IITG has been in the forefront in this fight against COVID-19 and has been supporting the Assam state government in this time of pandemic….” Prof. Sitharam added.
The RNA isolation kit and RT-PCR kit by IIT Guwahati can be used to isolate Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, from the virus; purify and convert it to Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA; which can confirm the presence or absence of the virus.
Large scale production of the kits has started and it will be delivered to test centres across the state, IIT Guwahati informed. The quality of the are comparable to the “best in the world, according to Prof. Ghosh.
"We are very delighted to jointly work with IIT Guwahati and the Assam State Government for the development of these COVID-19 diagnostic kits which has given us an opportunity to serve the society, especially in North-East region of India at this time of pandemic. We look forward to provide an affordable and high quality one health solution to the region and the entire Nation,” Dr. Dutta said in a statement.