A research team behind the development of a new rapid COVID-19 test kit, using only a few drops of blood and guaranteed to provide a highly accurate result within 15 minutes, said it is now being mass-produced and supplied to hospitals and medical facilities nationwide.
Theerakamol Pengsakul, Faculty of Medical Technology, Prince of Songkla University (PSU), said the kit promises to deliver a COVID-19 test result as accurate as that of a nasal swab, which normally yields a result in three to four hours.
She is the head of a research team at the university that worked with two companies to develop the new test kit called “KBS COVID-19”.
The kit was certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last year after the team had spent almost a year developing it, she said.
The test kit is capable of detecting two specific types of antibodies, IgM and IgG, which the human body produces to fight infection caused by the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, she said.
She said a repeat test is required one week after the first one. It uses the new test kit to confirm the result of the first test regardless of whether that result turns out positive or negative for COVID-19 infection.
The reason for this is that the human body may not trigger antibodies against the virus immediately after contracting it.
It could be that those found to have COVID-19 antibodies and tested positive for the virus had only recently recovered from the disease after treatment or been recently vaccinated against COVID-19, the researcher said.
More than 5 million new test kits have been ordered by a number of hospitals and medical institutions nationwide, she said.
Kestrel Bio Sciences (Thailand) Co and Master Labs Incorporation Co, are solely authorised to produce and distribute the product respectively. About 100,000 kits can be supplied each day, she said.