Ten-minute coronavirus test for $1 could be game changer

first_img“Africa still has that luxury, unlike Europe and North America,” she said.That’s where Mologic comes in. Using technology from home pregnancy and malaria tests, its saliva and finger-prick kit could be ready for sale from June for less than $1 apiece. In Africa, they will be manufactured in Senegal by diaTropix, a newly built diagnostics manufacturing facility run by the director of the Pasteur Institute, Amadou Alpha Sall, who has led training around the continent for coronavirus testing.“We are ensuring that these tests are made accessible at the cost of manufacture,” said Joe Fitchett, medical director of Mologic, which received a $1.2 million grant from the U.K. government to develop the test.The current COVID-19 tests, known as PCR tests, detect the genetic material of the pathogen in a laboratory process that can take several hours and cost over $400 in some private facilities.Since the mysterious illness emerged in China late last year more than 150,000 people have been infected around the world, shutting swathes of the global economy as countries lock down cities and ban travel. The US, with ample resources and medical technology, has come under fire for slow testing amid a surge in cases.Although the spread of the virus has been relatively slow in Africa, the number of patients climbed last week in Egypt, Senegal and South Africa, bringing the total caseload to more than 300 in at least 20 countries, with most patients having recently traveled to Europe.Mologic and the Institut Pasteur have joint capacity to produce 8 million tests a year and plan to sell them directly to African governments as well as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the WHO, Fitchett said. Mologic is seeking to acquire a manufacturing facility to produce an additional 20 million tests annually, initially in the UK and later in Africa.Training is being ramped up too. Fifteen African laboratories received guidelines last month from the Senegalese institute to diagnose the virus, while additional training was held in South Africa for another 12 African countries.In Nigeria, health officials are trying to speed up diagnosis by training staff at other public laboratories, said Chikwe Ihekweazu, the head of Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control. The country is in talks with partners and donors to acquire more kits after confirming two cases of the virus.“A quick test could be a game changer for us,” said Ihekweazu, adding that symptoms similar to malaria, which is widespread in Africa, could complicate diagnosis early on.Before 2017, Nigeria had only one laboratory to test for influenza, inside a refurbished, 48-foot container in the capital. Since then, the lab has been moved to a three-story building known as the National Reference Laboratory.“We are working non-stop,” said molecular bio-engineer Ndodo as he inspected new machinery inside the modern reference laboratory. “We need to keep working. We will get over this.”Topics : Already exhausted from testing for monkeypox and Lassa fever, Nigerian molecular bio-engineer Nnaemeka Ndodo had to work well past midnight earlier this month to find out if six Chinese construction workers were infected with the coronavirus.Ndodo had to collect samples from a hospital an hour away in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, then wait for six hours to get the results in what’s one of only five laboratories able to test for the virus in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, with about 200 million people.In about three months’ time, UK-based Mologic Ltd., in collaboration with Senegalese research foundation Institut Pasteur de Dakar, could shorten that wait to 10 minutes with a test that will help a continent with the world’s most fragile health care system cope with the pandemic. With few resources and staff, authorities are racing to contain the spread of the disease in Africa, which accounts for 1% of global health expenditure but carries 23% of the disease burden, including hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.Thirty-six of 54 countries on the continent have the capacity to test for the coronavirus, but a spike in cases could overwhelm laboratories. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Sunday he struck a partnership with Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to distribute between 10,000 and 20,000 test kits and 100,000 masks per African country, as well as newly developed guidebooks for treatment.Separately, the Ethiopia-based Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to distribute 200,000 tests across the continent next week, mostly from Berlin-based TIB Molbiol GmbH, according to the group’s head of laboratory, Yenew Kebede. It’s also sending more than 100 experts across Africa.“There is no shortage of lab tests in Africa, but what we want is the faster, cheaper test to quickly confirm if there is an outbreak and contain it before it gets bigger,” said Rosanna Peeling, chair of diagnostics research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.last_img read more

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Rovers target Prem duo

first_imgDoncaster boss Paul Dickov has confirmed the club have made loan enquiries for Shay Given and Billy Sharp. The ambitious Sky Bet Championship newcomers, who are in talks with potential investors in the club, are awaiting responses to their interest from Aston Villa and Southampton. Ireland goalkeeper Given, 37, has fallen behind Brad Guzan in the pecking order at Villa Park. Former Rovers striker Sharp, who scored 41 goals in 86 games before leaving for Southampton in 2012, spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest. Dickov told BBC Radio Sheffield: “Shay is somebody I know. We did make an enquiry a couple of weeks ago to take Shay on loan and we are waiting to hear back. “Billy is somebody who is highly thought of at the club. Again, a loan enquiry did go in a couple of weeks ago and we are waiting to hear back.” However, Dickov denied rumours that he had approached Villa about another of their out-of-favour players, his former Manchester City team-mate Stephen Ireland. “Stephen has not been mentioned, no. I think people are putting two and two together with Shay and possibly with Stephen being a friend of mine, but there has been no approach made for Stephen.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Solskjaer relishing crunch clash

first_img Press Association Both clubs are battling for top-flight survival, suggesting there will be plenty of frayed nerves at the Stadium of Light. Cardiff could climb out of the bottom three if they win, and Solskjaer’s team will head north following victory at Southampton and a draw against Stoke. Sunderland, though, trumped that by holding Manchester City to a draw and then winning away against title-chasing Chelsea last weekend. “If you look at the league table, it’s just as big for both of us,” Solskjaer said. “It is still so tight down at the bottom that a win will be hugely needed for both us, while a draw is probably no good for either of us. “I wouldn’t be in football if I was nervous. You have to look forward to games. I used to do that as a player, and I do that now. The waiting time is the worst. “At the moment, it is just about the Sunderland game. We go into it focused, and we have prepared really well. I can’t wait.” Cardiff looked down and out when they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat against Crystal Palace just three weeks ago, but the Southampton win and a point against in-form Stoke revived hopes of staying up. “I think the last few weeks have boosted all the players,” Solskjaer added. “The last two games, definitely, have given us a boost. We are going into this game in good form, which is a big thing. “We are away from home, but we went away to Southampton and beat them. We go there with belief that we can get something. “It’s about us going up there and performing, sticking together as we did against Southampton and Stoke, and continuing what we have done this week. “There are three games to go now, and we are within two points of Norwich. We have got a chance. “You do think that a win is what you need. A draw would not be favourable for either of us. Fulham and Norwich would probably be happy with a draw. “In a normal season, one team would be adrift, but it is such a different league this year. It is so tight at the top, so tight at the bottom, so you expected it to go to the last game. “It’s being built up, and it is a massive game. “For us, we don’t go into a game worrying about what everyone else thinks. We prepare for a game the way we think it is going to pan out, and then do our job.” The magnitude of the game, meanwhile, is not lost on Cardiff’s players, with midfielder Peter Whittingham – whose second-half penalty secured a point against Stoke – underlining what is at stake. “It’s huge. It’s probably one of the biggest games since I’ve been here, along with the cup finals and the play-off finals. It is right up there with those,” he said. “It’s all well and good taking points here and there, but now it is all about winning at Sunderland. It’s something we are going to try our best to do. “They (Sunderland) have done really well in their last two games. They’ve picked up points when no one thought they would have done, but we’ve been doing really well. “Our last couple of performances have been really good, and it’s about us on Sunday. I think if we play well and we play to our strengths and how we have been lately, then we will be okay.” Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he cannot wait for Sunday’s noon showdown with fellow Barclays Premier League relegation candidates Sunderland.last_img read more

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Bay Athletic Club Preps for Fitness Inspired Gala

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisIt’s that time again! The Bay Athletic Club is making preparations to honor those who have crossed milestones and overcome challenges to lose weight. The gym will be dressing up on January 20th to host their annual Fitness Inspired Gala. The gala will take place at Fletcher Depot at 6 pm.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Hundreds of schools receive FIRST Robotics grant money including Alpena High SchoolNext U.S. Coast Guard Warns Northern Michiganders Use Caution During Outdoor Winter Activitieslast_img read more

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