AsianScientist (Apr. 1, 2020) – Biolidics Limited, a Singapore-based medical technology company, has developed a rapid test kit for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) that is expected to be ready by end April.
On March 16, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries to ramp up their testing programs as the best way to slow the advance of the pandemic, which to date has claimed more than 36,000 lives. “We have a simple message to all countries—test, test, test,” said the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Given that COVID-19 is sometimes asymptomatic, there is a growing demand for a fast and accurate diagnostic test that can be used for decentralized screening, such as at border entry points.
Currently, polymerase chain reaction-based testing is used to confirm patients with COVID-19. According to Biolidics, its rapid test kit will reduce testing time from three hours with PCR-based testing to ten minutes, in addition to detecting COVID-19 with an accuracy of more than 95 percent from serum, plasma or whole blood samples.
Biolidics has obtained provisional authorization from Singapore’s Health Science Authority for use in Singapore. It has partnered with Clearbridge Health Limited to obtain approval and authorization for the regional deployment of the kit, particularly in Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
“Testing for COVID19 is vital to track and contain the pandemic which has spread rapidly across the world,” said Dr. Leong Man Chun, the interim CEO of Biolidics.
“Utilizing Biolidics’ rapid test kit, we can enable point-of-care testing for larger pool of clusters, resulting in more effective and efficient decentralized screening among suspected cases. With faster and accurate results, it can guide treatment decisions and further enhance public safety measures.”
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