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Medlife launches at-home COVID-19 testing in select cities

The price of a test is set at Rs 4,500 and will be conducted by labs authorised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Medlife said in a statement.

April 29, 2020 / 09:52 AM IST

E-Health platform Medlife on Tuesday said it has partnered with accredited labs to launch at-home testings for COVID-19 in select cities and plans to expand it going forward.

The price of a test is set at Rs 4,500 and will be conducted by labs authorised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Medlife said in a statement.

It added that the tests will be conducted using real-time PCR methodology.

Currently, the COVID-19 testing service is available in Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, it added.

Gurugram and Pune will be added shortly, the company said.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Medlife has also launched its e-consultation services and has empanelled 1,500 doctors across India for the same, the statement said.

"We are partnering with ICMR-authorised labs to aid in the rapid scaling up of COVID-19 testing in India, an essential measure to check the spread of the virus in the country," Medlife co-founder and CEO Ananth Narayanan said.

As the company plays its part in the nation's fight against the pandemic, it is determined to ensure that regular and chronic patients continue to receive quality healthcare services, he added.

"The launch of our e-consultation service is aimed at encouraging vulnerable and at-risk patients, especially ones with chronic diseases, to direct their concerns to our highly-trained doctors from the safety and comfort of their homes", Narayanan said.

The labs with which the company has partnered are accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), a constituent board of the Quality Council of India.

Also read: Coronavirus News India LIVE Updates

first published: Apr 29, 2020 09:48 am