Bangladesh Council of Science and Industrial Research (BCSIR) has developed an affordable Covid-19 detection kit, each unit costing Tk250 only, announced the institute at a press conference on Sunday morning.
This is the first time that a local organisation has developed an RT-PCR kit to detect Coronavirus.
With this domestically-produced kit, it will be possible to detect the initial presence of Coronavirus in one's body in only four to five hours, said BCSIR Chairman Professor Dr Md Aftab Ali Sheikh.
Kits currently being used by the government are expensive, each Corona test costing around Tk3000-3500.
"About 1,31,58,764 samples have been tested in Bangladesh so far, for which a large number of test kits had to be imported, causing a somewhat negative impact on the country's economy," Dr Aftab Ali added.
The Department of Drug Administration has approved the production of the kit and the Bangladesh Medical Research Council has given ethical clearance for it.
The RT-PCR kit (BCSIR Covid Kit) has been developed under the leadership of BCSIR in collaboration with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and the University of Dhaka, which is a simple and cost-effective method for detection of Covid-19, according to BCSIR.
Science and Technology of Bangladesh Minister, Yeafesh Osman, said, "The labs of BCSIR, BSMMU and Dhaka University, need to be utilised properly to produce similar exemplary work. We have to encourage the innovations of the scientists of our country."
Besides saving foreign exchange, the people of the country will greatly benefit if government and private institutions involved in the pharmaceutical industry start manufacturing these kits as soon as possible, according to BCSIR officials.