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Monday, July 26, 2021

Thailand’s Siriraj Hospital Develops New Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital has unveiled its newly developed COVID-19 test kits, which provide results in 15 minutes and are expected to be available next month.

Department of Parasitology head, Dr. Anchalee Tungtrongchitr, said COVID-19 transmission is so widespread that conventional RT-PCR testing cannot cope with rising demand. The results take a long time to produce, while the testing is also costly and involves many medical staff.

She said the faculty’s research team, therefore, began developing rapid antigen test kits in June last year. The kits have been tested on COVID-19 patients at Siriraj and Ramathibodi hospitals, in line with standards set by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Nitat Sookrung, the leader of the research project and head of the Biomedical Innovation Design Centre, said the kits can yield precise and accurate results without the use of lab equipment. Testing takes only 15 minutes and the solution that comes with the test kits can kill the virus in one minute, which can prevent the spread of COVID-19 during field tests.

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