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Minal Dakhave Bhosale: The Woman Behind India’s First COVID-19 Test Kit

The outbreak of coronavirus has brought so many challenges to people across the world. One of the biggest challenges is of determining if a person is suffering from COVID-19 or not. In India, this problem was severe due to the unavailability of testing kits. Though India got some testing kits, those weren't as efficient as they should be. This is when virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale came as a saviour for us. She delivered India's first COVID-19 testing kits that is capable of testing 100 samples at a time.

But what makes Minal Dakhave Bhosale famous is not only the testing kit but also her efforts. Those who don't know, Minal Dakhave Bhosale made and delivered this testing kit while she herself was about to deliver her baby through c-section. Bhosale was leading the team that was assigned the task of designing of coronavirus testing kit. The team was asked to deliver the product within three to four months. But it was the collective efforts of Minal Dakhave Bhosale and her team that the kit was delivered within six weeks by the Mylab Discovery of Pune, a firm in the same city. The kit was later submitted by the National Institute of Virology on 18 March 2020.

Later in the evening of 18 March 2020, Bhosale submitted her proposal for the commercial approval of the kit to the Indian FDA and the drugs control authority CDSCO. Interestingly, after submitting her proposal, she got admitted to the hospital for delivering her child through c-section. The next morning the woman delivered a baby girl. Upon being asked how she chose to work while going being heavily pregnant, Bhosale says, "It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation."

If you are thinking it is a normal testing kit then you may be wrong. This is because the kit has enhanced the detection time of the virus. Before this, the testing kits used by doctors in India were imported and took more than six to seven hours to detect if a person is infected from the virus or not. Moreover, the price of the imported kits was somewhere around 4,500 INR. But the kits designed by Bhosale and her team costs 1,200 INR.

We hope this kit will help in detecting the infected people and giving them proper and required medication on time.

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