Jakarta/ Indonesia (10/4). The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has a new phenomena. The need for test kits and the willingness to sell anything. The online sales platform like Carousell and U.S. reports shows the field of making a fast buck at the expediency of public health.
In Jakarta Chinese made products surface in social media sites, video clips and sell like hot cakes. The standards of the kits are neither clear nor have tacit approval from the ministry of health. In usual fashion entrepreneurial individuals sell products to respond to an public health crisis.
Whereas the figures are still low with an increasing testing regime this will likely change this pattern. Very little is known about the products and their accuracy.
A Singapore company may change the quality game changer of the testing regime in Indonesia.
Singapore-listed medtech company Biolidics recently launched its rapid test kit for COVID-19 and has entered into a manufacturer agreement with a diagnostic kit manufacturer to customize and manufacture the rapid test kits. The first batch of Biolidics’ rapid test kits is expected to be available in April 2020.
Biolidics has obtained provisional authorization from Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA) for its rapid test kit to be used in Singapore.
On Monday (6./4) the Singapore Business Time quoted company officials who said its rapid test kit for Covid-19 is allowed for sale in the European Union (EU).
This was after the test kit obtained confirmation for CE marking, a notification process to the relevant authority which allows the company to market and sell the kit in the EU. Having the CE marking confirms the test kit complies with the relevant EU product safety directives.
Biolidics’ rapid test kit is “simple to use and portable” and is “one of the few that combines both the IgG/IgM antibody tests for Covid-19”. It may be used as a point-of-care test in a wide range of healthcare settings even by clinical staff not trained in complex clinical laboratory procedures.
However, Biolidics noted that test results are not to be used for confirmatory testing or as a sole basis for diagnosis. They need to be interpreted together with clinical presentation and are to be confirmed with supplementary testing.
Currently, polymerase chain reaction testing is used to confirm patients with Covid-19. The swab test usually requires laboratory specialists and dedicated medical testing equipment. It takes three hours to obtain the result but the accuracy is 99 percent.
Using serum, plasma or whole blood samples, Biolidics’ rapid test kit can detect COVID-19 with an accuracy of more than 95% in ten minutes.
The rapid test kit is easy to use and can enable more effective and efficient decentralized screening among suspected patients. For instance, it can be deployed for the screening of suspected patients in scenarios like border entry points or potential COVID-19 clusters.
“Biolidics provides a regionally available product which will be a game changer in Indonesia and other countries in the region. It’s affordable, quickly available in the region and has verifiable high-quality control standards.”, said Fadila a health care provider based in Jakarta.
“With the flow of products are just overwhelming the markets health authorities very soon will be faced with fake products or products with poor quality standards,” she added. “The Singapore developed test is in high demands in Jakarta”. Biolidics is available through online sales.
Chinese products banned in United States
The Los Angeles Times reported that Yikon Genomics, a Chinese company staffed by researchers from some of the country’s leading universities, agreed in a settlement with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office to pull its unauthorized product from the market and refund anyone who purchased it. City Atty. Mike Feuer will announce the settlement Monday morning. The U.S. warned of products not approved by the Federal Drug and Administration.