The father and daughter had to make multiple calls to several private labs in the capital of New Delhi before they could arrange for the gold standard in COVID-19 testing – a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test, or RT-PCR.
It cost nearly $70 per test. A price Sanchi, 29, a digital marketer, and her father, a successful business owner, could afford but was out of reach for the majority of Indians, who have a per capita income of less than $160 per month, according to the World Bank.
“It (RT-PCR tests) should be accessible to the common man, and everybody should be able to get it done,” Sanchi said.
Over a year later, most Indians can access PCR tests at a fraction of the cost – due to a large-scale public-private partnership, known as InDx, that set up the local know-how and infrastructure to manufacture these tests within India.