Industrialist Anand Mahindra and actor Soni Razdan are among the thousands who are applauding the efforts of Minal Dakhave Bhosale – the virologist behind India’s first coronavirus testing kit. According to the BBC, Ms Bhosale is the research and development chief of Mylab Discovery in Pune, the first Indian firm to get full approval to make and sell coronavirus testing kits. The molecular diagnostic company has been successful in creating a kit that can test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 – a quarter of the cost of COVID-19 testing kits that India has been importing from abroad.
Ms Bhosale headed the team that designed the coronavirus testing kit, called Patho Detect, at Mylab. She began working on it just days after leaving the hospital with a pregnancy complication in February – and managed to submit the kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology on March 18, just a day before she delivered her daughter.
“It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation,” said Ms Bhosale to BBC.
“We have achieved COVID-19 testing in only two-and-a-half hours compared to other tests which are six-seven hours. We did this by utilising our expertise of development processes and FAST mode acting reagents,” she added in an interview to Hindustan Times.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale’s story was shared by actor Soni Razdan on Instagram this morning, where it has collected hundreds of ‘likes’ within minutes.
Anand Mahindra, who pledged to help in the fight against the pandemic by manufacturing ventilators and converting Mahindra resorts into care facilities, also applauded Ms Bhosale in a tweet on Saturday.
“Ms Bhosale, you delivered not just the test kit and your baby, but you also delivered a ray of hope to the country. We stand and salute you…,” he wrote.
Ms. Bhosale, you delivered not just the test kit and your baby , but you also delivered a ray of hope to the country. We stand and salute you… https://t.co/iqQgQvBzg3
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) March 28, 2020
India saw the highest jump in coronavirus or COVID-19 cases on Saturday with 194 patients testing positive for the highly contagious illness in different parts of the country. Over 900 people have contracted COVID-19, and at least 19 have died.