While experts all over the world are working together to find viable treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, researchers are also trying to find some other ways to diagnose the virus and drop millions of tests a week – this is a ley test in returning to normality.
Our lives have changed since the beginning of this pandemic and nothing is how it sued to be – now, the normality involves fear and uncertainty of what tomorrow might bring.
Nature.com notes that back in March, as Thailand’s coronavirus outbreak break to ramp up, there were three hospitals in Bangkok that revealed the fact that they suspected testing for the virus because they had run out of reagents.
Looking for affordable and easy-to-use tests
While looking for affordable and easy-to-use tests, systems biologist Chayasith (Tao) Uttamapinant at the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology in Rayong reached out to an old acquaintance: “CRISPR co-discoverer Feng Zhang, who had been developing an assay for the coronavirus inspired by the gene-editing technology,” Nature wrote.
It’s been also revealed that in a few days, Uttamapinant received starter kits from Zhang’s lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. These were tested on samples from a hospital in Bangkok.
“The kits are quite cheap and work well,” said Uttamapinant. The expert is hoping to get the test approved for clinical use by the end of 2020.
It’s also important to note that he’s working with biochemists in Thailand to produce the testing reagents locally.
“This effort to produce everything locally will have a lasting impact on infectious-disease monitoring and diagnosis in this part of the globe,” according to Uttamapinant.
The best way out of this pandemic
Experts say that mass testing, which requires millions of tests per country/week is the most practical out of the current crisis that has been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
This allows officials to isolate people who are testing positive, then they can limit the spread of the disease and help determine when it’s safe to ease restrictions.
Another issue worth noting is the claim that the coronavirus could disappear on its own.