Making the test for coronavirus easy, quick and affordable, a team of Indian scientists has discovered a paper-based test kit called Feluda, which could deliver fast results like a pregnancy test. The scientists have developed the paper using Crispr — a gene-editing technology and estimate that it will cost around 500 rupees. The test result can be seen within one hour.

Tata is set to help the scientists manufacture Feluda in bulk quantities. This could be the first paper-based and cheapest test kit for coronavirus available in the world.

“This is a simple, precise, reliable, scalable and frugal test,” principal scientific adviser to the Indian government, Professor K Vijay Raghavan, told the BBC.

Feluda was developed at the Delhi-based CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) along with some private labs. About 2,000 patients have been tested with Feluda as samples. One of them had already tested positive for the COVID-19.

For the parameter of test results accuracy, the scientists claim that the paper-based technology has 96 percent sensitivity and 98 percent specificity. While sensitivity detects all the positive cases, specificity makes sure that there are not too many false positives.

“The new test has the reliability of the PCR test, is quicker and can be done in smaller laboratories which don’t have sophisticated machines,” director of IGIB Dr Anurag Agarwal told the BBC.

The test has been cleared for commercial use by the country’s drug regulator.