• Friday, Jul 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:32 am

Covid-19: Gonoshasthaya gets approval to import reagent for testing kits

  • Published at 04:20 pm March 19th, 2020
coronavirus test kit
Photo: Bigstock

'A technical team of Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited developed the testing kits and it cost about TK2 crore'

Gonoshasthaya Kendra has received approval from the government to import reagent –the ingredient to develop the trail batch of the Covid-19 testing kits 

Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, director-general and licensing authority of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) said the authority has granted permission to import the reagent – “Covid-19 Dot Blot Immunu Assay.”

A committee has been formed with experts to evaluate the laboratories which would be used to develop the detection kits. They are to ensure if the labs pass the certification of biosafety level 2.

Earlier, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, the founder of the organization, said the DGDA has given the approval to develop the detection kits. Raw materials for the kits would reach Bangladesh from the UK in a week.

Earlier on Tuesday night Gonoshasthaya Kendra declared that they have developed "Rapid Dot Blot"— a cheap testing kit that can examine samples to detect Covid-19 as fast as in 15 minutes.

"A technical team of Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited developed the testing kits and it cost about TK2 crore. After a two-month research Prof Dr Bijon Kumar Sil, head of the Department of Microbiology at the Gono Bishwabidyalay and his four associates Dr Nihad Adnan, Dr Mohd Raed Jamiruddin, Dr Firoze Ahmed, and Dr Muhibullah Khandaker invented the kit."

According to the organization, Prof Bijon has vast experience of having invented another test-kit to detect the SARS virus. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, he was in Singapore and fought the disease successfully. Two years earlier, he joined the university and has since been working to prevent dengue. 

Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, director-general and licensing authority of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) said that they have to test the kit with a third party laboratory, such as International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b).

“Also considering the serious public health concern, we will inspect the lab where the kit would be developed,” he added.

Three new Covid-19 cases — one woman and two men— have been confirmed in Bangladesh, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 17.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) disclosed the information on Thursday.

Of the total 17 patients, three were earlier released upon recovery while one died on Wednesday.

As of now, over 8,900 people have died across the world from the virus which first broke out in China's Wuhan last December. 

Around 219,351 have been infected by Covid-19, a new strain of coronavirus, while 85,749 people have also recovered from it.

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