Gonoshasthaya hands over Covid-19 test kits to BSMMU, CDC for final govt approval
Gonoshasthaya Kendra today handed over locally manufactured Covid-19 test kits to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for final approval from the government.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra Trust Chairperson Prof Altafunnesa handed over the kits -- Rapid Dot Blot -- to representatives of BSMMU and CDC at the Gonoshasthaya Kendra Nagar Hospital in the city.
The kits will also be handed over to the Directorate General of Drug Administration, World Health Organization and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology tomorrow.
"We expect the government to approve the kit as quickly as possible after validation. Soon after the approval, we will start its production. Step by step, we can supply one lakh kits," said Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, founder and trustee of Gonoshasthaya Kendra at the handover ceremony.
The development comes at a time when Bangladesh is in dire need of kits so that more tests can be done, detection can be improved and eventually patients can be isolated and treated -- the best known way to check the spread of coronavirus.
Currently, Bangladesh depends mainly on Chinese testing kits.
Dr Bijon Kumar Sil, head of microbiology department at the Gono Bishwabidyalay, who led the team in developing the kit, said they have internally validated the kit after manufacturing and found it to be successful.
"Covid-19 can be diagnosed within five minutes of using this kit," he said at the handover ceremony.
The team of Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech -- led by Bijon Kumar Sil -- included Nihad Adnan, Raeed Jamiruddin, Firoz Ahmed and Mohib Ullah Khondokar, who developed the kit.
Dr Bijon was among the researchers who had developed a kit to diagnose SARS coronavirus in 2003. Rapid Dot Blot is patented under his name.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra was scheduled to hand over the kits to the authorities for validation on April 11, but that was not possible due to technical glitches at its factory.