New test kits give answers within 45 minutes

By ZHANG ZHIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-04-16 07:49
Health workers in Wuhan carry out physical examinations for employees at a company who return to work on April 9, 2020. [Photo by Zhou Guoqiang/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Tightened regulations introduced for manufacturers

The Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on April 9 that its biomedical institute in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, had created a nucleic acid test kit that could produce results in just 45 minutes.

The kit, which also enables on-site testing, can be stored and transported at room temperature.

Wang Daming, leader of the research team at the academy's Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, started working on the kit in January. The following month, he went to Hubei province to test its efficacy.

The kit only requires 20 microliters of nasal swab or mucus samples to produce a result, the institute said.

A single test machine can analyze 60 samples an hour, it said, adding that more than 600 patients had been tested with an accuracy rate of over 99 percent. The cost of the testing was not disclosed.

China has been striving to develop more advanced test kits while also tightening regulations for manufacturers.

Beate Trankmann, the United Nations Development Programme resident representative for China, said the country is one of the few markets that has not banned exports of medical supplies and is actively supporting global procurement to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"What's impressive is the bilateral aid that China is putting forward," she said, adding that it is encouraging to see the nation "returning the favor after having received international assistance at the very beginning of the pandemic".

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