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Around The World, Women Are Leading COVID-19 Testing Efforts

by Georgia Dodd

Just hours before delivering her daughter, virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale was able to create India’s first testing kit for Coronavirus. Bhosale’s team was able to make the testing kit “in record time”: instead of the usual three to four months, it took only six weeks to develop the testing kit, which became available Thursday, March 26.

Bhosale’s lab, Mylab Discovery, is the first Indian lab to get full approval to produce a testing kit. They’ve already sent the first batch of 150 tests to labs in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and more.

“Our kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take six-seven hours,” Bhosale, who serves as Mylab’s Research and Development Chief, told the BBC.

Bhosale only began working on the testing kits in February, just a couple days after being informed of a pregnancy complication. She added that her team of 10 worked “very hard” to succeed with the testing kits.

“It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation,” she said.

America’s women doctors are also passionate about Coronavirus testing. Silicon Valley start-ups and their female founders are also trying to help the lack of testing for COVID-19. Healthcare companies like Everly Well, Inc. and Nurx are currently working on their testing kits, and this month, home testing company Everly Well founder Julia Cheek introduced a COVID-19 testing kit, the first test that can be mailed to and taken at home. Varsha Rao, Nurx’s CEO, also announced that Nurx will also be offering at-home tests for patients.

As COVID-19 continues to spread — now throughout 171 countries — it is as important as ever that tests are made, available, and affordable for people worldwide. And right now, women around the world are leading the efforts in detecting the virus. Next stop? Hopefully a vaccine.

Header image of Minal Dakhave Bhosale via Facebook

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