Rigorous testing is the way forward to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we show that the currently used and most reliable RT-PCR based SARS-CoV-2 procedure can be further simplified to make it faster, safer and economical by bypassing the RNA isolation step. The modified method is not only fast and convenient but also at par with the traditional method in terms of accuracy, and therefore, can be used for mass screening. Our method takes about half the time and is cheaper by about 40% compared to current most widely used method. We also provide a variant of the new method that increases the efficiency of detection by about 20% compared to the currently used method. Taken together, we demonstrate a more effective and reliable method of SARS-CoV-2 detection.