Nigerian Institute Of Medical Research Launches COVID-19 Test Kits

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As part of its contribution in the fight against COVID-19 in the country, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research on Tuesday launched another set of COVID-19 test kits in Lagos.

The new testing kits which are Real Time-Polymerase chain reaction ( RT-qPCR ) for the detection of Sars-CoV-2 called SCODA, was designed by Mr Joseph Shaibu, a Molecular Virologist at NIMR.

The Director General of the Institute, Prof. Babatunde Salako who unveiled the products during NIMR’s ongoing retreat holding at Sheraton Hotel in Lagos said the kits were produced specifically for PCR laboratories.

“We decided to come up with this rt-qPCR testing kits that will work with the conventional PCR laboratories we have across the country.

“Unlike the SIMA test kits earlier produced by the institute which work with only isothermal machine.

“The Isothermal machine which can be moved around as a point of care is not readily available now for purchase so we decided to come up with this.

“So that the PCR laboratories activated across the country for COVID-19 testing can make use of it,” he said.

Shaibu, who worked on the new testing kit said the kit can produce accurate test result in 57mins.

According to him, the product is 80 per cent cheaper compared to the imported testing kits used for COVID-19 in the country.

” This new RT- qPCR kit for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 is fast, accurate, sensitive and specific.

“It can run and produce result in 57 minutes and it also detect COVID-29 from two target which are ORFlab and N-gene.

“It has a specificity & sensitivity of 100 per cent, the lntra and inter assay precisim has CV<7 and one good thing is that it is 80 per cent cheaper than the ones currently been used in the country.

“The product has been validated against other foreign test kits such as BGI, Genefinder, ,Life River and found accurate,” he said.

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