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SpiceHealth will be the first to launch dry swab direct RT-PCR Covid-19 testing

The technology of dry swab RNA-extraction free testing to be introduced across SpiceHealth mobile laboratories; will significantly ramp up testing, reduce cost & time

To use the dry swab method in RT-PCR testing mobile labs; 5 operational labs, conducting 10,000 tests per day

Follows the launch of the most affordable & fastest RT-PCR testing at Rs. 499/- by SpiceHealth

New Delhi, NFAPost: SpiceHealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CSIR – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), India, a constituent lab of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

This MoU with CCMB, a premier research organization in frontier areas of modern biology, is for conducting dry swab Direct Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests in its mobile testing laboratories.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently granted approval to CSIR-CCMB to commercially use the game changing technology of dry swab RNA-extraction free Covid testing method that has the potential to scale up testing by 2 to 3 fold with no additional resources and significantly reduce the time and costs of such tests.

SpiceHealth is a health care company founded by the promoters of SpiceJet and led by Avani Singh. SpiceHealth’s first mobile testing laboratory was inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Home Minister, Sh. Amit Shah and Hon’ble Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, at ICMR, AIIMS on November 23.

The Company’s pioneering and first-of-its-kind initiative follows the successful launch of its first mobile testing facility offering the most affordable RT-PCR testing at Rs. 499/ only. SpiceHealth currently has 5 functioning labs at government requested locations around Delhi NCR, conducting 10,000-15,000 tests per day.

SpiceHealth CEO Avani Singh said he is proud to announce the launch of the first-of-its-kind dry swab RT-PCR testing facility at our SpiceHealth laboratories.

“At SpiceHealth, our mission is to provide high-quality and low-cost healthcare at a large scale. The best way to achieve this goal is through innovation. The dry swab method, developed by CSIR-CCMB, will reduce testing time by 1.5 hours, significantly reduce cost and further revolutionize RT-PCR testing. SpiceHealth is proud to be the first Indian laboratory to incorporate this method into its labs,” said Avani Singh

SpiceHealth CEO Avani Singh said over the past few weeks, SpiceHealth has launched 5 mobile testing laboratories across Delhi NCR, with 10 more labs in the pipeline for the next two weeks.

“Currently conducting 10,000-15,000 tests a day, SpiceHealth hopes to make a significant dent in Covid testing with quick scale-up and innovation. This MoU with CSIR-CCMB will help us quickly scale up operations and ensure affordable Covid-19 testing to as many Indians as possible. I am confident that our combined efforts will help curb case count in India and flatten the curve. SpiceHealth is also gearing up for helping with widespread deployment of the Covid-19 vaccination in the country,” said SpiceHealth CEO Avani Singh.

CSIR-CCMB Director Dr. Rakesh Mishra said the dry swab testing method will be a game-changer in testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The method is safer, faster and cheaper than the current testing method without compromising the quality of test results. We are very happy that SpiceHealth will use this technology in their mobile testing labs, and benefit large number of people,” said Dr. Rakesh Mishra.

DSIR DG-CSIR and Secretary Dr. Shekhar C Mande said he compliments to scientists and students of CSIR-CCMB involved in developing this simple but elegant solution that cuts down the time, cost, effort and improves safety and output of the Covid-19 RT-PCR diagnostics.

“Through the partnership with SpiceHealth, CSIR is happy to contribute to the enhanced Covid-19 testing in the country during the pandemic,” said Dr. Shekhar C Mande.

The ICMR recently gave permission to CSIR-CCMB to conduct dry-swab testing method after successful trial runs and SpiceHealth’s mobile testing laboratories will become the first to incorporate this testing method. CSIR-CCMB centre conducts high quality basic research and training in frontier areas of modern biology, and promotes centralized national facilities for new and modern techniques in the inter-disciplinary areas of biology.

The dry-swab direct RT-PCR method is easy to implement as it eliminates the requirement of new kits and doesn’t require any additional training to be provided to the persons conducting the test.  Generally, the swab samples are placed in a liquid called Viral Transport Medium (VTM).

The samples are packed heavily to avoid leakage which increases sample processing time at both the sample collection and testing centres. However, dry-swab testing eliminates this process and also doesn’t require RNA extraction.

In order to fight the Covid-19 virus, SpiceHealth had launched SpiceOxy – a compact, portable, non-invasive ventilation device, which is an effective solution for patients with mild to moderate breathing issues. Additionally, SpiceHealth had also introduced fingertip pulse oximeter, a handy device making it easier for people to measure the oxygen level of the blood.

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