By Hasnat Shahriyar Nahin
Bangladesh approves low-cost test kit to detect Covid-19
The Government of Bangladesh has approved the production of a locally developed low-cost coronavirus (Covid-19) testing kit to tackle the pandemic.
Public health organisation Gono Shasthaya Kendra that runs hospitals and medical research work in the country developed the kit, which requires some chemical reagents that need to be imported.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) granted the approval to import raw materials.
The organisation will also submit the kit to the DGDA for final approval of the World Health Organization (WHO) after producing it.
The full-scale production is expected to begin in the next two weeks.
The kit uses the Rapid Blot-Dot technique to detect coronavirus positive cases within 15 minutes. The technique looks for antibodies created in the body in response to the virus infection.
According to the Gano Shasthaya Kendra, the kit will cost approximately BDT250-300.
The standard method of diagnosis of coronavirus is by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR), which uses sequencing from a nasopharyngeal swab or sputum sample.
Meanwhile, the country reported its first coronavirus death this week. The total positive cases of the disease stand at 20, while three people have recovered.
Bangladesh Government has adopted strong measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
The government has closed down all schools and banned mass gatherings. Travel bans have been imposed in all the popular tourist destinations.