New Zealand’s government has launched a novel testing strategy under its Covid-19 protection framework to offer improved protection for the population at increased risk. The country will invest approximately $1bn in Covid-19 testing, contact tracing and case investigation to cut down disease spread. Nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will remain the primary diagnostic method while saliva-based PCR tests, rapid antigen tests and rapid PCR tests will also be offered. From next month, companies will be able to directly procure approved rapid Covid-19 antigen tests for their employees.
Indian company Agappe Diagnostics is set to introduce its Covid-19 confirmatory test solution, AG InstaLume Reagent Kit, which does not require ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction process and delivers results in 30 to 35 minutes of collecting the specimen. Leveraging the real-time LAMP (RT-LAMP) platform, the test is said to have sensitivity of over 98.7% and specificity of 100%. To carry out the test, nasopharyngeal swab samples obtained from the user are mixed in the lyse buffer and processed using the test kit. The reaction vial can be directly loaded in RT-LAMP Analyzer, MISPA LUME, thereby lowering the sample to report turnaround time to 35 minutes with greater precision.
Achiko has provided updates on its rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test AptameX. The firm reported ‘substantial progress’ in the marketing of AptameX along with its digital passporting service, Teman Sehat (Health Buddy). Reduced-cost, miniature aptamer-based tests are said to be advantageous over antigen-based tests as they are easy to modify and immobilise, and have increased target affinity and specificity. The company also noted that its pilot programme is underway in Bali and regions near Jakarta. Achiko has sought approval for the product from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, with the initial manufacturing of the AptameX test kit underway in the region. Filing to obtain a CE mark of the test is expected in the first quarter of next year.