A Turkish firm, that has been producing test kits for various diseases for the past 25 years, has developed a COVID-19 testing kit that can yield results within five minutes.
The firm based in the Aegean province of İzmir is planning to mass produce the tests already underway to help the country contain the outbreak.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday, Türklab General Manager Kartal Yağlıdere said the company has been producing test kits for various diseases for the past 25 years and decided to put their expertise to work to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Yağlıdere said the project was backed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and explained that the tests rely on detecting the antibodies produced by COVID-19 patients. The company aims to produce 3 million units per month.
“Our goal is to finish the project within six months. We will work 24 hours, seven days a week if needed. We already have the expertise needed, since we have been producing test kits for the past 25 years – so our infrastructure is up to the task. We hope to finish the project by reaching our mass production goal, which is 3 million COVID-19 tests per month,” Yağlıdere said.
The company had begun taking orders from companies across the world before even reaching its mass production goals, he said, adding that the Türklab’s well-established sales network helped promote the test kit as Türklab exported their other tests to 76 countries.
“We told our customers that the kit was still in development. But we still had orders from countries like the U.K. and Germany because they trust our company’s history. Some of them even made down payments. We got paid before even putting the product on the table. We see this as a show of trust in our firm’s expertise on the field,” he said.