The race to beat Covid-19 gets better pace globally as the world cannot wait for the pandemic to end – a 10-minute coronavirus test kit that can be done at home will be available soon. The test which will cost $1 is being dually manufactured in Senegal and the United Kingdom.
If the validation testing meets regulatory standards, it could be distributed across Africa as early as June.
Amadou Sall, director of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar says “Our focus is to provide tests to the African continent”.
The tests will be produced in the UK and a facility in Dakar. Sall and fellow researchers have previously worked on vaccines for yellow fever and dengue in the Senegalese capital. They developed the prototype for the diagnostic test in partnership with Mologic, a British biotech company founded by the inventor of the Clearblue pregnancy test.
Four million tests annually is the capacity of the Dakar site whilst they are also planing to build local manufacturing sites in other parts of Africa.
Joe Fitchett, the medical director of Mologic says it was obvious that coronavirus will hit Africa much more than other parts of the world due to paucity of adequate facilities – availability of the tests will save lots of lives.
The $1 price is to allow plenty tests to be carried out – the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are part of those who support the project, hence it is affordable.