A COVID-19 diagnostic test kit developed by the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram is not accurate, according to the National Institute of Virology at Alappuzha that tested the technology.
Kerala had pinned lot of hopes on the new technology named Chitra GeneLAMP-N. The innovative technology was expected to give more accurate test results at a lower cost than the current PCR tests for detecting COVID-19. However, the Alappuzha virology institute has found that the Sree Chitra’s technology is not giving accurate results.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had directed the institute to evaluate 400 samples. However, with just 100-odd samples, it was clear that the technology was not accurate and the testing was stopped, as per the report submitted by the Alappuzha institute.
The technology would obtain approval if there is 95 per cent accuracy. But, the GeneLAMP-N has an accuracy of just 45.6 per cent.
Sree Chitra had claimed a cent per cent accuracy based on the initial tests.
Meanwhile, the Sree Chitra institute authorities maintained that they have been directed to fine-tune the technology. Director R Asha Kishore said that after ensuring more accurate results, the GeneLAMP-N would be submitted for approval again
The delay in getting the ICMR approval for the GeneLAMP-N had earlier sparked a row.