The Gonoshasthaya Kendra will submit samples of its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits for government approval by April 10 and plans to manufacture one lakh kits by mid-April, subject to the approval.
The Kendra officials and scientists said that they had received some reagents and began manufacturing samples at their laboratory in Savar.
Bijon Kumar Sil, leader of scientists’ team that developed the method named Rapid Dot Blot to test COVID-19, told New Age on Friday that they had received some reagents from Switzerland, United Kingdom, South Korea, China and India, but bulk of the reagents were yet to arrive for suspension of flights.
Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited, a concern of Gonoshasthaya Kendra in Bangladesh, recently said that it had developed a method to test COVID-19.
At least five people died of COVID-19 in Bangladesh and 48 cases infections are reported till Friday.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury told New Age that they were trying to import reagents by delivery services of FedEx and Bangladesh Biman from the UK and some supply might reach by next Monday.
‘We are hopeful about providing some samples for the government’s approval by April 10 and if they approve, we will be able to manufacture around one lakh coronavirus testing kits by mid-April,’ said Zafrullah.
With the coronavirus crisis unfolding and deepening, panic among the people is growing as it is feared that the government lacked transparency in presenting the actual picture.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research director Meerjady Sabrina Flora on Friday said that Bangladesh has so far tested 1,026 people for coronavirus infection.
Meanwhile, 30,000 more kits arrived Dhaka from China on Friday afternoon while 10,000 kits were imported from Singapore.
Zafrullah said that the government officials were scheduled to visit Gonoshasthaya Kendra’s laboratory on Saturday to inspect facilities and kit manufacturing process there.
During the SARS outbreak, Bangladeshi scientist Bijon, along with some of his associates, had developed the method of detecting the virus. (Source: New Age)