11 July 2024

Thailand claims to have developed 500 baht COVID-19 test kits which are capable producing a result in under an hour.

The CRISPR diagnostic kits are a joint development by the Wittayasirimethi Institute, the Faculty of Medicine of Siriraj Hospital and PTT Public Company.

Assistant Professor Chayasith Uttamapinan, one of the researchers who worked on the development of the kits and a lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Molecular Biological Engineering, said that the test can produce results in 30-45 minutes, compared with the current 4-6 hours, and cost about US$15 each, compared with 3,000-13,000 baht for the current ones.


He said that the Wittayasirimethi Institute has ordered chemical supplies from abroad to produce 10,000 test kits initially, with the hope that production will be increased to 100,000 units for distribution to all hospitals across the country.

Professor Dr. Prasit Wattanapa, dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University, said that the hospital has tested the CRISPR kits against the testing devices currently employed and, if the results are satisfactory, they will be very helpful in containing the spread of the contagion.

Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai cautioned, however, that the new test kits must be reliable and meet standards, so the Medical Science Department will also need examine the kits and seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they are put to general use.