Pakistani scientists are working day and night to develop early diagnostic kits of coronavirus. National Institute of Virology, sub-institute of ICCBS in cooperation with Chinese researchers is near to achieve this success.
“Pakistani scientists at National Institute of Virology are working hard to develop early diagnostic kits of coronavirus, which will not only cost effective but will also target to diagnose multiple people with single low-cost kit”, told by Prof Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, Director, International Center for Chemical and Biology Sciences (ICCBS).
Dr Chaudhry said that the kits imported from other countries have capacity to test 20 to 48 cases, while ICCBS researchers are targeting to prepare a kit which can test over 300 samples.
Talking with media, Dr Chaudhry told that in first phase of experimentation, scientists have achieved ‘positive control’ of the coronavirus, while for the second stage of the process, orders for import of required chemicals have been placed.
Briefing about the cost of the test he said, “after successful completion of the kits, test is likely to cost as low as between PKR 300 to 500”.
Dr Mohammad Ammar Athar, working on this project, told that imported diagnostic kits are not entirely capable for early detection or low limits of coronavirus. The limit of a virus in a human body is called ‘copy’.
“Currently available kits in Pakistan are capable to detect a viral load 300 copies, whereas Pakistani researchers are aiming to diagnose as low as 50 copies. This is a huge target to achieve, but once achieved it will bring significant success to treat the disease before it multiply”, he added.
National Institute of Virology is a sub-institute of ICCBS of the University of Karachi. NIV is aiming to foster fundamental creative diagnostics, innovative research strategies and their applications as basis for ultimately protecting and improving health.