Mumbai: The National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune is fast-tracking the approval process for reagents required for the expansion of Covid-19 testing, said people aware of the matter. Three multinationals and one domestic company are in the process of getting their tests validated and getting government approval.

ET has learnt that Swiss drugmaker Roche Diagnostics, Indian molecular diagnostics company Molbio, South Korean company Seegene and German company Altona Diagnostics have submitted their applications for approval. Roche has also received a licence from the Indian drug regulator for a specific SARS-Covid-19 diagnostic that can test thousands of samples in 24 hours.

“The test licence allows us to import select quantities of the cobas SARS Cov-2 diagnostic test for product performance evaluation,” Roche told ET in an emailed statement. “Following successful completion of the evaluation, a decision from the authorities will enable us to commercialise the kits in India.”

On Tuesday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said it will be bringing in diagnostic equipment from Japan to expand testing of samples. The ICMR also said that private labs can test people for Covid-19 and has requested that they do this free of cost.

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