A Group of Scientists in Nigeria have developed a cheaper and faster COVID-19 test kit that can help increase the number of testing with quicker results feedback. This will help ramp up on getting a lot more testing done as the country was faced with shortage and chronic under-testing of a country with well over 200million people, according to the country’s health authorities.
The new testing kit is cheaper than the other PCR tests — of which the most common type of test — and can give results in less than 40 minutes, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) said.
The diagnostic COVID-19 test kit will cost less than $25 and samples can be analyzed using a mobile machine that can be operated by low-skilled personnel with minimal training, the agency said.
“We saw the need for more testing outfits, especially one that can give results in a short time because hospitals were refusing to treat patients without Covid-19 results,” Babatunde Salako, the director of NIMR, told CNN.
“The machine we use is not the common PCR one. We bought the machine and adapted the kit that we developed to work with this machine. It is meant for diagnosis of other pathogens,” Salako said.
Although Salako added that the detection rate of the NIMR test kit is “a bit lower than the PCR, but for the point of care, we believe it is good enough for now.”
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