As the novel coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate throughout Pakistan, appropriate reactionary measures become imperative. Along with being able to detect the presence of the disease in a timely fashion, it is also important to ensure that the masses can do it cheaply. Such a development can only be brought about by the labor of science, and that’s exactly what a couple of researchers at the National University of Science and Technology have done.
Associate Professor Dr. Aneela Javed and Assistant Professor Dr. Ali Zohaib are researchers at the Atta-ur-Rehman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) in NUST who have managed to develop an ingenious and affordable detection kit for COVID-19.
Formally known as Molecular Detection Assays, these screening kits have been developed in collaboration with Wuhan Institute of Virology China, DZIF Germany, Columbia University USA and Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, AFIP.
These testing kits are not only the need of the hour, but they are geared towards making life easier for people in general. With the whole world in the throes of a raging global pandemic and scientists scrambling to develop vaccines against the deadly virus, the presence of an extremely affordable detection kit can not be understated. The one developed by Dr. Aneela and Dr. Ali is reportedly one-fourth the cost of existing imported kits, which is certainly an impressive feat.
The public has been understandably appreciative of this contribution from NUST, with many people on social media lauding the researchers’ achievement.
More than ever before, it is necessary for our nation to invest in similar types of research and scientific developments that can bring us one step closer towards putting up a successful fight against the rampaging coronavirus. With the cost of tests expected to drop all over the country thanks to NUST’s development, we have a precedent that we can all follow to continue our advance as a nation during this difficult time.