Argentina’s NEOKIT could be the future for Covid-19 testing

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Argentine scientists are producing what they call a fast and inexpensive coronavirus test, which according to the government has grabbed the eyeballs of other countries. Organizations in China and Argentina state they have developed new COVID-19 tests that can recognize the infection in no time.

Argentina’s portable kit has a test strip very much in resemblance to pregnancy test where it employs a method to detect the presence of coronavirus through human saliva. The new rapid test, called “NEOKIT-COVID-19”, is designed to detect the virus in less than two hours, which is unprecedented, developers say. The kit was developed by a group of research members from Xiamen University and it can be applied for “clinical usage, suspected cases and the screening of covid-19 vulnerable groups

On contrary to the current RT-PCR nuclei acid tests utilised for diagnosis, this test kit is simpler , cheap and more efficient, with higher sensitivity and specificity claims Santiago Werbajh, an epidemiologist at the Pablo Cassara Foundation.

“The costs are economical, approximately $8, and the simplistic approach is because of the time and easy handling, which can be applicable on an outpatient basis for bulk testing. The availability, unlike the current technology will be high ,” Werbajh added.

In Argentina – where 384 fatalities out of 8371 COVID-19 cases have so far been registered – 108,634 tests have been carried out for the infection. The country has 45 million population.

“We are willing to supply not only neighbouring countries, but other countries, in fact there has already been contact with foreign embassies interested in accessing this kit,” said the Argentine Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Roberto Salvarezza.

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