It was as recently as 12 March when Ram Pramod Tiwari began work on a rapid antibody test to detect Covid-19. By 25 March, claims Tiwari, he and his team of two lab assistants had a sample kit ready to be vetted by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, Maharashtra. Tiwari is the technical director of Vanguard Diagnostics, a five-year-old, Delhi-based diagnostics manufacturer. Vanguard’s rapid antibody test is one of the few kits approved for usage by NIV.

Getting this approval amid a nationwide lockdown wasn’t easy. Vanguard had to obtain special passes to transport the kit samples by autorickshaw to the Delhi airport.

AUTHOR

Olina Banerji

Based in Delhi, Olina writes about mega-trends in urban mobility, education, skilling and the environment, with a focus on how institutions and innovations can help cities grow sustainably. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked previously with India Today and global non-profit Ashoka.

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