• Under development

    Under development

    South Africa is set to manufacture its own COVID-19 sample purification kits within six months.

    In a move to help create a steady local supply that will speed up testing and reduce the country’s reliance on international suppliers, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is developing technology to generate pure samples (from nasal and throat swabs) that can be tested for the presence of COVID-19. The CSIR notes that a ‘reliable local supply of sample purification reagents also addresses the specific problem of patient swabs becoming non-viable for testing because of the lengthy backlogs caused by a lack of reagents’.

    According to CSIR senior researcher Previn Naicker, the project is expected to reduce the turnaround time of testing by supporting at least an additional 10 000 COVID-19 tests per day.

    ‘Based on the capacity of our local partners, kits for the extraction of a minimum of 5 000 samples can be assembled per day at a certified facility,’ says Naicker. ‘We are in discussions with two proposed facilities thus far.’

    11 August 2020
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