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How An Innovation Lab In West Africa Is Helping The World Check COVID-19 By Developing Rapid 10-Minute Test Kit


March 13, 2020

As the world continues to be rocked by the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic — which has already infected over 120,000 people in 120+ countries and killed more than 4,000 people — an innovation lab in West Africa is getting on top of things.

An innovation lab in Dakar, Senegal, known as Pasteur Institute is helping a UK-based laboratory to develop a hand-held rapid test kit for the virus that delivers results in as little as 10 minutes.

As reported by CNN, the Senegalese innovation lab has partnered with a UK-based laboratory, Mologic, as well as five other international research organisations to authenticate the test kits that would be produced by DiaTropix, a manufacturing facility that is also based in Senegal.

Visiting the Mologic lab last week, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that there would be a USD 58 Mn fund to help experts as they continue to find vaccinations and develop testing kits for the virus. 

According to Mologic, they received nearly USD 1.3 Mn from the fund to not only make the hand-held kits work quickly and efficiently but without electricity or need for lab analysis.

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“Rapid detection of the virus is important to stop its spread — we are pleased that the UK government has acknowledged this, supporting Mologic and the work of our partners to prevent further outbreaks internationally,” said Mologic Medical Director Joe Fitchett. 

Currently, samples from tests of the coronavirus are proving that results can be ready within 24 hours if laboratories have the capacity to complete them.  

In a secondary statement, the UK government commented on how these new tests would serve as an extreme benefit to low-income countries who are battling the accuracy of coronavirus testing.

“Rapid testing is going to be key to managing this outbreak, but ultimately vaccines are going to provide the long-term protection we need,” said Patrick Vallance, UK Government chief scientific officer.

Per the statement from Mologic, the efforts are expected to pave the way for health workers to detect cases early and place people under quarantine as quickly as possible.

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