New COVID-19 test kit at UKZN produces rapid results

New COVID-19 test kit at UKZN produces rapid results

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) can now produce test results for the coronavirus within six hours.

Stock image of a Covid test kit used in a laboratory
Algoa FM

That is thanks to an advanced instrument called the ILEX Genehecker which was donated to the institution by the Gift of the Givers.  

The new rapid test kit for COVID-19 is being housed at the Microbiology Laboratory at Howard campus. 

UKZN researcher Professor Anil Chuturgoon says the instrument will help achieve results much sooner for both the university's staff and students. 

"It can be used as a point of care instrument, so you get a rapid diagnosis and isolate then person that has tested positive and then you can do tracing to see who they were in contact with.

READ: Probe into COVID-19 test kits dumped on N2 in EC

"More importantly, in terms of the university, as we are getting students that are coming into campus now - we are preparing to see that they are going to be safe at all times and we don't have unlimited resources to deal with any outbreaks that do happen at the university."

He adds that the testing facility will also be extended to external stakeholders bringing in a much-needed stream of income for the university.

Students at the university began returning to campuses this week.

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