Gonoshasthaya Kendra on Thursday got approval for importing reagents to produce COVID-19 test kits.
“After production, DGDA will examine the quality of the kits and approve it for usage to detect coronavirus,” said Directorate General of Drug Administration spokesperson Sabrina Sultana.
The founder of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury also confirmed the matter to media on Thursday.
"We have received approval from the government for importing raw materials needed to conduct our method. It will take seven days to arrive the raw materials from the UK. We will go into production when the raw material comes." he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gonoshasthaya Kendra authorities declared that they have developed an ‘easy, effective and cheap’ method to test coronavirus or Covid-19.
“Gonoshasthaya-RNA Biotech Limited, a sister concern of Gonoshasthaya, with the help of experts from Singapore developed the method named ‘Gonoshasthaya Rapid Dot Blot’,” its founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said.
“We developed a method, not a kit. Kit is very expensive and time consuming system,” Zafrullah explained, adding the system would cost around Tk 200 and could be marketed soon if the DGDA approved it.
He claimed that US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that they would adopt the system.
He said the new method would take only take 5-10 minutes to test coronavirus and cost about Tk 200-250.
“It’s almost similar to testing blood groups and will allow doctors to conduct tests at their chambers,” Zafrullah said.
Talking to media at a press briefing, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury said that the method was developed by a team of Gonoshasthaya and Singapore.
“We hope the method will help to reduce the scarcity of the testing kits in our country,” he said.
Asked whether they used their method, he said they tested some people in the country, but found all of them negative. “We used the method abroad and found positive cases.”
The noted physician also claimed that their method is ‘cent percent reliable’, saying “CDC has already reviewed our method and confirmed about adopting it.”
“We applied for approval from DGDA and with their permission we will be ready for production in a month,” said Zafrullah, a noted public health expert and freedom fighter.
Bangladesh confirmed its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. So far, 17 people have been affected.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on Wednesday confirmed the first death from coronavirus in Bangladesh.
To tackle the gradually worsening situation, Transport Minister Obaidul Quader said Bangladesh will be put in lockdown if necessary to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.
Covid-19, which was first reported in China, has so far affected 204,044 people globally and killed 8,232 with a fatality rate of 9 percent. So far, 82,866 people have recovered. The virus is currently affecting 170 countries and territories.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 11 declared coronavirus crisis a pandemic.