Tata Group launches Covid-19 test kit

TataMD CHECK, a new Covid-19 test kit launched by Tata Medical and Diagnostics on Monday. Tata Medical and Diagnostics is the healthcare unit of the Tata Group and the authorities informed that the kit will be made available at laboratories and hospitals from December. The kit will process results more easily and faster than the RT-PCR method, which is considered the gold standard for detection, at a time when cases are still rising in the country. The nasal swab test, developed jointly by Tata and the government, is also more accurate than the rapid antigen test currently favoured in India. According to the officials, Tata Medical and Diagnostics, the healthcare arm of the cars-to-clothes conglomerate, will begin manufacturing 1 million kits a month at its plant in Chennai and can then scale up rapidly.

TataMD CHECK can return results in 90 minutes and will be sold through hospitals and laboratories from next month with the initial focus being on the home market. Expensive equipment is not needed to do the test, so it becomes more accessible and available and more labs can start testing. A process based on artificial intelligence and automation will be used to test swabs. India’s COVID-19 cases have risen by 45,903 to 8.55 million in the past 24 hours, government data showed. Deaths increased by 490 to 126,611. India does more than 1 million COVID-19 tests a day, nearly 60% of them using the rapid antigen method that is faster but less accurate. Antigen devices return results in about 15 minutes compared with several hours for the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) method.