The Inspiring woman behind India’s First Covid-19 Testing Kit

The name Minal Dakhave Bhosale will be fondly remembered in the history of India for spearheading and successfully bringing out India’s first Coronavirus Testing Kit.

On 24 March, 2020 news reports surfaced that MyLab Lifesolutions,a Pune based Molecular Diagnostics startup had received commercial approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to sell Covid-19 test kits. 

The kit is named Mylab PathoDetect Covid-19 Qualitative PCR Kit. Mylab said that nearly 100 patients can be tested using one kit. The kit will screen and detect Covid-19 infection within 2 1/2 hours with perfect accuracy. Other imported testing kits take 6 to 7 hours to do that. That is swifter than other coronavirus testing Kits. 

Accuracy is paramount in testing kits, and before the kits were submitted to National Institute of Virology the accuracy of the tests were checked multiple times and it came out with precise and perfect results. Indian Council for Medical Research said that Mylab was the only company in India to achieve 100% results.

The cost of this kit is said to be Rs.1,200 which is just one-fourth of the cost (Rs.4500 approx) that kits imported from Germany and Switzerland would make. The invention would really help the Govt and people in this perilous times. 

Mylab shipped the first batch of 150 kits to diagnostic labs in Bengaluru, Delhi,Goa, Mumbai beside Pune on the final week of March 2020. The next batch is expected today (30.3.2020). The company has said that it could scale-up the production of kits if the need arises. 

This was a team-effort from Mylab and the woman who led the team was Minal Bhosale. She was tasked by Mylab on February to create this Covid-19 testing kit. She gathered her team and designed/developed this testing kit in under a record time of six weeks. It normally takes more than 2 months to develop such a testing kit. 

What is amazing with her story is Minal was pregnant during the task was given to her and she took it as a challenge to deliver the kit before her child was born. On March 18 she submitted the test kit to NIV and the commercial project proposal to CDSCO, on March 19 she delivered her baby girl. Now, with the affordable kit that is made in India, the govt and people can have high hopes.