The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has approved for the first time a locally developed RT-PCR testing kit that can detect the novel coronavirus.
Bangladeshi biotech company OMC Healthcare Pvt. Ltd developed the kit, which the DGDA approved on January 3, officials said.
The company claims the kit has 98 percent accuracy in detecting the Covid-19 virus.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Md Salahuddin, director of the DGDA, said, "Yes, we have approved the RT-PCR kit developed by OMC Healthcare for production and commercial supply. Their kit passed in the efficacy trial and our technical committee has given its nod after evaluating the trial result."
To approve any RT-PCR kit, the DGDA follows the guidelines of World Health Organisation and the US Center for Disease Control.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research conducted the validation trial of this kit, according to the OMC Healthcare official.
In a press release, the company said that this RT-PCR Test Kit can successfully detect the mutated form of the virus.
"This kit can be one of Bangladesh's principal weapons in effective diagnosis and clinical management of Covid-19. Some 30-40 percent of the expenses [in regards to diagnosing Covid-19] can be reduced if OMC Healthcare kits are used," read the press release.
Mazbahul Kabir, chief executive officer of OMC Healthcare, said, "We currently have the capacity to produce 40-50 thousand Covid-19 RT-PCR test kits every day, and if needed we can expand it as per requirement. To ensure the highest quality of our test kit, we have used the automatic production line."