Pakistan’s First Locally-Developed COVID Kit To Be Available In NIH Islamabad Lab In 2 Weeks
ISLAMABAD: The first locally-developed Covid-19 kit is expected to be in the market soon as the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved it.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry made this announcement on Friday morning. In his tweet, the science minister said that the government has achieved another landmark as the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved the country’s first Covid-19 testing kit.
The minister, in his tweet, further said that with this new development there will be a significant reduction in the cost of testing and will also save a lot on the import bill.
“Congratulations to @Official_NUST and our brilliant scientists …you people have made us proud,” Fawad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter.
Two young scientists of the Attaur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad had developed Covid-19 testing kits and the kits were later forwarded to DRAP for approval.
The cost of the current Covid-19 diagnostic test is reportedly over Rs8,000, but the scientists say that with the launch of their indigenous kit, the test will costly only one-fourth of that price.
Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that the locally-developed Covid-19 testing kit will be available in NIH lab within the next two weeks. Later on, its supply to private labs will also be ensured, he added.
Fawad Chaudhry said that all over the world the authorities concerned usually take at least six months to give approval to such a project, but because it was taken as a special case, DRAP reviewed the kit and issued a decisin within a month. He said this was made possible with special interest of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The science minister said NUST has shortlisted four companies to market its product.
He added that the government will welcome any initiative which can help bring the country out of this pandemic situation, adding that the ministry supports NUST.
The government is planning to link universities with the market and such developments can be effective in establishing linkages between academia and industry, Fawad said.
He said the government has given autonomous status to universities in Pakistan and they can generate their revenue in public-private partnership, which will help higher education generate their own revenue rather than depending on the government funding.