Africa World

Senegal partners with UK lab to develop fast coronavirus diagnostic test kit

Scientists in Senegal alongside UK-based laboratory Mologic is working to make a diagnostic test for coronavirus that can produce test results within 10 minutes. According to Mologic, the handheld device is the first diagnostic kit developed in the UK to be jointly-manufactured in Africa.

The laboratory said it was working with the Pasteur Institute in Dakar and five other international research organizations to authenticate the test kits that will be produced by DiaTropix, a manufacturing facility also in the West African nation.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the lab last week and announced a £46 million fund (approximately $58 million US dolllars) for British experts to find vaccines and develop test kits to fight the coronavirus pandemic and prevent future outbreaks of the virus.

Mologic said it received a £1 million (about $1.3 million USD) from the fund to make a rapid test kit that works without electricity and does not need a laboratory analysis to give results for coronavirus, paving the way for health workers to detect cases and place people under quarantine quickly.

Mologic Medical Director Joe Fitchett said diagnostic tools that can be used at home and in low resource areas need to be deployed to bring the current outbreak to an end.

“Rapid detection of the virus is important to stop its spread – we are pleased that the UK government has acknowledged this, supporting Mologic and the work of our partners to prevent further outbreaks internationally,” said Fitchett in the statement.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) claim to have invented the world’s fastest portable 2019-nCoV diagnostic device.

From sampling to testing, the device is apparently able to detect the novel coronavirus in just 40 minutes. In comparison, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology that is currently in use can take between 1.5 to 3 hours.

Culled from CNN

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