Made in India Virus Kits Boost Testing, and Local Industry
By Rishabh R. Jain
As the first wave of the pandemic began to take hold in India, Sanchi Jawa and her 59-year-old father, Harish Jawa, realized that they had the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. They decided to isolate and get tested — but this was no easy task during the spring of 2020.
The father and daughter had to make multiple calls to several private labs in the capital of New Delhi before they could arrange for the gold standard in COVID-19 testing — a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test, or RT-PCR.
It cost nearly $70 per test. A price Sanchi, 29, a digital marketer, and her father, a successful business owner, could afford but was out of reach for the majority of Indians, who have a per capita income of less than $160 per month, according to the World Bank.
“It (RT-PCR tests) should be accessible to the common man, and everybody should be able to get it done,” Sanchi said.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Schludi.