Interim Director-General of DMS Dr. Supakij Sirilak explained that after successfully decoding COVID-19 DNA, through collaboration with researchers in China, the department is now able to produce Real-Time RT-PCR kits, testing apparatus for the coronavirus accepted by the World Health Organization.
The kits are Thailand’s first to identify both IgM and IgG anti-bodies of SARS-CoV-2, reports state news agency NNT.
They use immunochromatography to test plasma and blood from a patient’s fingertip and have an accuracy rate of 90%. They are currently pending registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will be used with 60,000 Thais once processed to discern the country’s risk level.
The technology is to be passed on to the private sector to reduce capital cost to only slightly above 100 baht per kit, as imported kits cost 300-500 baht per unit. They are to be particularly crucial once state mandated quarantine is reduced from 14 to 10 days and should benefit STV tourists.
The development is a breakthrough by the 1-Lab-1-Province 100 Laboratories program, which has validated 236 labs across the nation, 157 operated by the state and 79 by the private sector.
DMS has also created a test kit for COVID-19 contamination on product packaging and food sets to be used on imported fruit and vegetables.