As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the Indian Council of Medical Research has approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting coronavirus tests.
The ICMR has validated 'TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation' and has recommended it as a screening test,the apex health research body said on Friday.
Issuing a guidance on the use of Truenat beta CoV, the ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit.
"Earlier studies have shown that virus lysis buffer neutralises Nipah and H1N1 viruses. The results of stability of viral RNA after neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 by virus lysis buffer are awaited from ICMR-NIV, Pune.
"Till such time, Truenat beta CoV test should only be performed with all biosafety precautions in BSL-2 or BSL-3 setups at laboratories," it said.
The revised guidelines will be issued once the results from ICMR-NIV, Pune are available, it said.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 199 and the number of cases climbed to 6,412 in the country on Friday, according to the Union health ministry.