The ICMR has granted approval to a Pune-based company for its new self-use rapid home-test kit for Covid-19 with results available in just 15 minutes.
Named ‘CoviSelf’, the country’s first Covid-19 home-test kit, priced at Rs 250, has been developed by Mylab Discovery Solutions, Pune, and will hit the markets within a few days. The company had also given India its first RT-PCR Test kit last year which is now commonly used for Covid-19 tests.
Mylab Discovery Solutions currently has a capacity of 70 lakh test kits per week and will enhance it to 1 crore test kits by early-June, its Managing Director Hasmukh Rawal said.
The self-use test kit can be used by any symptomatic persons, or their immediate contacts of confirmed cases as per ICMR guidelines, and they can test themselves, go into isolation and get treatment quickly.
Rawal said that each kit would comprise the requisite testing materials, instructions for use leaflet and a biohazard bag to safely dispose it off after testing. The test is done using nasal swab as compared to the deep nasopharyngeal swab to reduce the user’s discomfort.
CoviSelf will provide the results in just 15 minutes, and each pack has a unique QR code which must be entered along with the test outcome to get a report on the App.
“Since this eliminates the need for sample collection by a healthcare professional, it will greatly ease pressures on the overburdened testing labs, besides reducing delays in the test results, which is more than 72 hours in some parts of the country,” said Rawal.
With its CoviSelf, MDS hopes to reach Covid-19 testing virtually to the doorsteps of every Indian to help them fight the second pandemic wave and any subsequent waves, as it can be bought without prescription from any pharmacy, said Director Sujit Jain.
“Most western countries have allowed self-test for their citizens and consider it as a powerful tool to break the chain. CoviSelf combines with Mylab’s AI-powered mobile App so that a user can know his/her positive status, submit the result to ICMR directly for traceability, and know what to do next in either case of result. We are sure this small step will be a big leap in mitigating the second and subsequent waves,” said Jain.
Does COVID vaccine affect fertility in men and women? Check what Health Ministry has to say
Amid recent reports claiming infertility due to COVID-19 vaccination amongst the population of reproductive age, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday (June 21, 2021) issued a clarification. Busting the myth, it said that none of the available coronavirus vaccines affects fertility as all vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects.
“Vaccines are authorized for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured,” the Ministry said in a press statement.
It said that in the past few days, certain media reports have highlighted the prevalence of various superstitions and myths in a section of healthcare and frontline workers including the nurses.
“Such misinformation and rumours were observed to be spreading in the community during the vaccination drives earlier too e.g. polio and measles-rubella,” the Health Ministry added.
The Centre stated that there is ‘no scientific evidence’ suggesting COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility in men and women.
#COVID19vaccines DO NOT affect fertility in men & women!
There is no scientific evidence linking the 2 and any claims to the contrary lack merit.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) June 21, 2021
India records 42,640 new COVID-19 infections in 24 hours, lowest in 91 days
India recorded 42,640 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday (June 22, 2021) morning.
The country reported less than 50,000 coronavirus cases in a day after over 90 days and with this, the active caseload has further declined to 6.62 lakh.
The health ministry stated that the national weekly positivity rate currently stands at 3.21% and the daily positivity rate is at 2.56%.
The country also saw 1,167 deaths and 81,839 recoveries in the last 24 hours.
India’s total COVID-19 tally has now increased to 2.99 crores, of which, 3,89,302 have died and 2.89 crores have recovered.
On the other hand, India achieved the highest ever single-day COVID-19 vaccination in the world by administering 86.16 lakh vaccine doses on Monday.
“The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and congratulated those who got vaccinated.
“Kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine,” he added.
SC reserves verdict on Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia compensation to kin of COVID-19 deceased
The Supreme Court Monday reserved verdict on the pleas seeking directions that ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh be paid to the families of those who have died of COVID-19.
A special vacation bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate S B Upadhyay and other lawyers for almost two hours.
The top court asked the parties to file written submissions in three days and specifically directed the Centre to simplify the process of grant of death certificates to the dependents of those who have died of COVID-19.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh cannot be paid to the families of those who have died of COVID-19 as the finances of state governments and the Centre are under severe strain.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Centre submitted that it has by ways of Minimum Standard Relief under section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, taken several steps providing for substantial and speedy measures by way of, increase in the health, infrastructure, ensuring food safety to every citizen.
Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, one of the petitioners in the matter, had argued that under section 12(iii) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, every family whose member died due to disaster is entitled for ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4,00,000.
He had argued that since COVID-19 has been declared as a disaster and as per the order dated April 8, 2015, every family whose member dies due to disaster is entitled for ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh.
The counsel, appearing for another petitioner Reepak Kansal, had argued that a large number of deaths were taking place due to COVID-19 and death certificates need to be issued, as only after that the affected family members can claim compensation under section 12 (iii) of the Act.
In his plea, Kansal has said that states should be directed to fulfil their obligation to take care of victims of COVID-19 and also their family members.
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