Researchers at the National University of Science and Technology have developed a testing kit for the novel coronavirus which will cost Rs2,000, university officials said Tuesday.
The price of these locally developed kits is just the one-fourth of those imported.
These assays have been developed at a time when the world is in the grip of an unprecedented pandemic and scientists and researchers are sparing no effort to find its remedies.
These kits have been tested on laboratory controls and patient samples, according to officials. They use both conventional and real-time PCR-based methods to detect the virus.
Varsity officials say that these kits are robust and sensitive to the target.
The team that developed them included Associate Professor Dr Aneela Javed and Assistant Professor Dr Ali Zohaib from NUST’s Attaur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences.
They worked on the establishment of these assays together with researchers from universities in Rawalpindi, Wuhan, Germany and the US.
The development comes amid confirmation of 212 coronavirus cases in Pakistan. Sindh has reported the highest 172 cases.
The government has closed down all educational institutions, prohibited all kinds of congregations and public gatherings to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
People have been advised to stay indoors and practice social distancing.