Turkiye, Health, Science-Technology, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkish scientists develop COVID-19 testing kits

Kits developed by Sakarya University scientists in northwestern Turkey cost three times less than imported ones

Emre Ayvaz   | 16.04.2020
Turkish scientists develop COVID-19 testing kits


Turkish scientists have developed a testing kit for coronavirus, a major step aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on imports.

"Today, we will add a new product to our export basket and reduce our imports. We will share with you testing kits for COVID-19,” Professor Fatih Savasan told reporters in Turkey’s northwestern province of Sakarya.

The kits were developed by scientists at Sakarya University where Savasan is rector.

Noting the profound contribution scientific advancement has had on the betterment of society, he said the testing kits came “right when we needed them”.

The professor stressed the key to fighting COVID-19 is accurate diagnosis and isolation.

“The testing kits will increase the number of tests carried out every day.”

He went on to say they could increase their production capacity to 50,000 units per day after two weeks from the current 10,000.

Professor Oguz Karabay, head of Infectious Diseases Department at Sakarya University, who is also one of the developers, said: "If we can take a sample properly, we can detect the disease."

Mehmet Koroglu, a professor and head of Clinical Microbiology Department at the university and also one of the developers, said that the product is shaped like a stick to take nasal and throat swabs from patients.

He added that the kit is fitted with a liquid which preserves the virus until it is sent for a lab test.

Koroglu added that the locally produced kit costs three times less than the imported ones.

Turkey has so far reported 1,518 deaths from COVID-19 and confirmed over 69,300 cases.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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