Gonoshasthaya Kendra authorities claimed to have developed an “easy, effective and cheap” method to test coronavirus or Covid-19 which has affected more than 200,000 people globally.
“Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited, a sister concern of Gonoshasthaya, with the help of experts from Singapore developed the method named ‘Gonoshasthaya Rapid Dot Blot’,” its founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said.
He claimed that US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that they would adopt the system.
“We developed a method, not a kit. Kit is very expensive and time consuming system,” Zafrullah explained.
He said the new method would take only take 5-10 minutes to test coronavirus and cost about Tk 200-250. “It’s almost similar to testing blood groups and will allow doctors to conduct tests at their chambers,” Zafrullah said.
Bangladesh confirmed its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. So far, 14 people have been affected. The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on Wednesday confirmed the first death from coronavirus in Bangladesh.
To tackle the gradually worsening situation, Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said Bangladesh will be put in lockdown if necessary to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.
Zafrullah said they would soon start working at making the method available if the Directorate General of Drug Administration gives them permission.
Asked whether they used their method, he said they tested some people in the country, but found all of them negative. “We used the method abroad and found positive cases.”
The noted physician also claimed that their method is “cent percent reliable”, saying: “CDC has already reviewed our method and confirmed about adopting it.”
He said the government needs to fix a price of their method in consultation with them so that no one can take extra money from people when it is available in the market.
Zafrullah said the country will not face any crisis of the shortage of Covid-19 testing kits as their method will be available in the market soon.
Covid-19, which was first reported in China, has so far affected 204,044 people globally and killed 8,232 with a fatality rate of 9 percent. So far, 82,866 people have recovered. The virus is currently affecting 170 countries and territories.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 11 declared coronavirus crisis a pandemic.unb