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Nigerian scientists develop cheaper and faster Covid-19 test kits

Nigerian scientists have reportedly been successful in developing a new COVID-19 test kit that is cheaper and faster, enabling higher volumes of testing within the country, which has been facing kit shortages. According to Nigerian health authorities, the population has been trying to combat chronic under-testing, in which there are not always testa available for those suspected to have been infected with the virus. The new test can provide results in under 40 minutes, according to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.

The new test will also cost less than $25 and have the ability to be analyzed using a small, transportable machine that is easy to operate by low-skilled personnel. Nigerian health authorities also state that the kit’s development began when officials recognized a need for more testing locations and kits that can report results in a short period of time. Overcrowded hospitals in Nigeria were turning patients away without positive COVID-19 results, harming the population as tests were not always available and took days to return. Although the accuracy rate for the new test is slightly lower than that of the most popular kit, PCR, Nigerian health authorities plan to begin administering it, deciding that the improved access outweighs the risk of an inaccurate result.

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