The government's health authorities yet to receive the newly developed rapid testing kits
Gonoshasthaya Kendra authorities have handed over the Covid-19 rapid testing kits they have produced to the representatives of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for final approval.
The formal handover ceremony was held at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in Dhaka's Dhanmondi around 11am on Saturday.
However, the organization is yet to hand over its test kits, called GR Covid-19 Dot Blot, to the government formally as no one from the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) attended the event.
DGDA reportedly suggested them to send the testing kits to its office.
Addressing the media at the event, Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said he was hopeful if everything goes alright they would get approval within the next week and can start production of the kits.
“The DGDA informed us last night [Friday night] over phone that the department wouldn’t able to collect the testing kits on Saturday. The DGDA authorities have asked us to send the kits to its office on Sunday,” he said.
Dr Zafarullah said Gonoshasthaya Kendra will deliver the testing kits to the DGDA on Sunday.
A team of Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech, a sister concern of Gonoshasthaya Kendra, has developed the rapid testing kit, which can detect novel coronavirus infection in 15 minutes.
The project costed about Tk2 crore.
After two months of research, Prof Dr Bijon Kumar Sil, head of the Department of Microbiology at Gono Bishwabidyalay, and his four associates Dr Nihad Adnan, Dr Md Raed Jamiruddin, Dr Firoze Ahmed, and Dr Muhibullah Khandaker finally invented the kit.
On March 17, Gonoshasthaya Kendra declared that they had developed a cheap testing kit that can examine samples to detect Covid-19 in mere minutes.
The team received green signal from the government over two weeks ago to import the raw materials for producing the testing kits.
Researchers say the testing kit can detect coronavirus infection in 15 minutes and is expected to cost around Tk300-350 each.
Earlier on Monday, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said, the plan is to produce 100,000 kits per month once approved.