Hyderabad, July 15 (IANS) Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) have developed COVIHOME, an artificial intelligence-powered Covid-19 test that allows self-testing at home.On obtaining ICMR approvals, and after commercialisation, the kit developed by Prof Shiv Govind Singh, Department of Electrical Engineering, will be available in the market at an affordable price.This test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The major benefit of this testing kit is that it does not require RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), an expert human resource, and a BSL 2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, so it has potential for one to take the test at home without expert supervision.Explaining the benefits of the testing kit, Shiv Govind Singh said, "A major objective of the research team for the development of the COVIHOME Test Kit was to break the transmission chain through affordable testing. We have already filed a patent for the device and are now looking for industry partners for ToT of technology for mass production".As per IITH, CSIR-CCMB has performed the validation of the rapid RNA electronic diagnostic device for detection ofSARS-Cov-2 virus in the swab samples independently with the in-house samples and hospital samples as advised by ICMR. These samples were confirmed for their positivity or negativity by the RT-PCR method.The validation report confirmed the kit's efficiency at 94.2 percent, Sensitivity 91.3 percent and Specificity 98.2 percent.While a test currently costs around Rs 400, the developers say that mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around Rs 300 per test.Speaking about the role of IIT Hyderabad in helping tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof B S Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, said, "IITH has come up with many unique & novel socio-technological initiatives and delivered remarkable results during this pandemic. Prof Shiv Govind's "COVIHOME" is one such admirable milestone. I am confident it will play a significant role in the safe & fast diagnosis of COVID-19 and minimize its spread".The COVIHOME testing kit was developed by the research team of Dr Suryasnata Tripathy, Supraja Patta, Swati Mohanty, and other students led by Shiv Govind Singh, Department of Electrical Engineering.The initial clinical trial and testing of the device was performed at ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad. "Dean ESIC, Prof Srinivas M, and his team Dr Imaran, Dr Swati, and Dr Rajeev have played a big role in the successful development of this novel kit", said Singh.--IANSpvn/bg
Yangon, July 12 (IANS) Myanmar's Health and Sports Ministry imposed a stay-at-home order in 18 more towns across the country due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the state-run media reported on Sunday.The stay-at-home order, which will take effect on Monday, will be applied to six towns in Bago region and 12 towns in Yangon region because of the recent increasing Covid-19 infections, the Xinhua news agency reported.So far, the ministry has imposed the stay-at-home order in 63 towns across the country.According to the ministry's figures on Sunday, the number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 192,213 after 3,461 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.In addition, 82 new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 3,838 in the country.A total of 146,358 patients have been discharged from the hospitals and over 2.86 million samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far, the figures showed. --IANSint/rs
New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Sounding a note of caution, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday asked eight states having tourist destinations and hill stations to follow strict Covid appropriate behaviour to avoid spread of the virus.Emphasising that "second wave of Covid-19 is not yet over", Bhalla, while chairing a meeting here, directed the states to ensure strict adherence to the protocols prescribed in respect of wearing of masks, social distancing and other safe behaviour.He was checking the steps taken by state governments to avoid the spread of Covid-19 in hill stations and tourist locations.During the meeting, the overall management of Covid-19 situation and the vaccination status in respect of the states of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal was discussed.The Home Secretary sounded a note of caution in view of media reports showing blatant disregard of Covid appropriate behaviour in hill stations and other tourist locations.It was observed that the decline of the second wave is at variable stages in the different states or Union Territories (UTs) in the country, and that while the overall case positivity rate may be declining, the case positivity rate in certain districts of Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh is over 10 per cent, which is a cause for concern.States were also asked to follow the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and Covid appropriate behaviour, as has been laid out in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order dated June 29 this year, said the Home Ministry.Adequate health infrastructure preparedness (especially in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas) was also advised, with a view to tackle any potential future surge in cases.The meeting was attended by Dr. V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog; Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research; and Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Principal Secretaries (Health) of the eight States.Three days ago, Bhalla held similar meeting and directed all northeastern states to ensure strict containment measures as per extant guidelines while noting that out of 73 districts in the country with Case Positivity Rate (CPR) above 10 per cent, 46 are in these states.--IANSrak/pgh
Yangon, July 8 (IANS) Myanmar's Health and Sports Ministry imposed a stay-at-home order in 14 more townships, state-run media reported on Wednesday.The stay-at-home order, which will be effective on Thursday, will be applied to one township of Magway region, three townships of Mon state and 10 townships of Yangon region due to the recent increasing Covid-19 infections.So far, the ministry has imposed the stay-at-home order in 45 townships across the country, the Xinhua news agency reported.Meanwhile, Myanmar reported 3,947 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the tally to 175,923, according to the ministry's figures.In addition, the death toll has increased to 3,570 in the country after 57 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.A total of 141,255 patients have been discharged from the hospitals and over 2.81 million samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far, the figures showed. --IANSint/rs
New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Wednesday directed all northeastern states to ensure strict containment measures as per extant guidelines while noting that out of 73 districts in the country with Case Positivity Rate (CPR) above 10 per cent, 46 are in these states.Bhalla's direction came while reviewing Covid-19 situation in all the northeastern states and Union Territories (UTs) here. During the meeting, current status and trends on the active cases, Case Fatality Rate (CFR), CPR and vaccination status were discussed.The Union Home Secretary also emphasised to follow the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and Covid appropriate behaviour, as has been laid out in Ministry of Home Affairs order dated June 29.The northeastern states and the UTs were also advised to strictly monitor the situation at the district and city level and take timely corrective measures, wherever any early sign of a surge is noticed."For those districts identified with high case positivity and higher bed occupancy, states and UTs may consider imposing restrictions in a calibrated manner," the Home Secretary suggested.Strict enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour was reiterated and it was advised to involve political leaders and civil society organisations.The meeting was attended by Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Principal Secretaries, Health, of these states and the UTs. Member, Health, NITI Aayog, the Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and senior officers of the MHA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare were also present.--IANSrak/vd
Yangon, July 7 (IANS) Myanmar's Health and Sports Ministry imposed a stay-at-home order in two townships of Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory and three more townships of Bago region, state-run media reported on Tuesday.So far, the ministry has imposed the stay-at-home order in 31 townships across the country, the Xinhua news agency reported.According to the ministry's figures on Tuesday, the number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 171,976 after 3,602 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.In addition, 52 new deaths were reported on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 3,513 in the country.A total of 140,387 patients have been discharged from the hospitals and over 2.79 million samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far, the figures showed. --IANSint/rs
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