News Buzz

ICMR turns to polyester as cotton runs out

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been evaluating the effectiveness of polyester swabs for Covid-19 test kits amid a shortage of cotton swabs. Nasal and throat swabs are deployed to detect the presence of the coronavirus and the shortage of cotton swabs.

The paucity of cotton swabs could lead to a slowdown in the testing process in India. Polyester swabs are being considered a suitable alternative, in the absence of cotton. The US Food and Drug Administration allowed polyester swabs for Covid-19 testing, after a physician in the Seattle area found that Covid-19 specimens can be successfully taken with polyester swabs.

On Tuesday, the ICMR validated polyester swabs made by Suparshva Swabs. “We changed our production line to make the requisite product as per the ICMR guidelines. With the approval coming in, supply will start to the VTM (viral transport medium) manufacturers,” said Rahul Jain, a partner at Suparshva Swabs.