Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s efforts at developing solutions to the challenge of non-availability and high cost of coronavirus diagnostic kits have paid off with the development of RNASwift extraction kit.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) initiative would not only enable the country test five million farmers, “but the new test kit will reduce cost drastically.’’
Similarly, he said other African countries stood to benefit from the test kits due to the low cost.
Onu said he had tasked Nigerian scientists to come up with a solution with the sum of N36 million pledge.
Director-general of NABDA, Prof. Alex Akpa, said the RNASwift test kit would not only revolutionalise Africa’s PCR-based COVID-19 testing, but will also expand the capacity by 50 times, at least.
He described the RNASwift as an indigenous diagnostic test kit designed, developed and validated in Nigeria for the identification of the causal agent, SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19.