September 25, 2020

Meet the Pakistani who assisted making the ‘5-minute COVID-19 testing kit’

A Pakistani was part of the team of software engineers who helped develop a portable test that can tell if someone has COVID-19 in as little as five minutes.

Abbott Laboratories said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given it emergency authorisation to begin making the test available to healthcare providers as early as next week.

The test, which is the size of a small toaster and uses molecular technology, also shows negative results within 13 minutes, the company said in a statement.

Jameel Sheikh, a Pakistani software engineer hailing from Sindh’s Larkana district who graduated from Karachi’s NED Engineering University before moving to the United States, was among the engineer who received the first batch of the kit for testing.

The pharmaceutical giant in its statement said that they are ramping up production to deliver 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day by next month for the US healthcare system.

“Testing remains a crucial step in controlling the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing to supply healthcare providers with new technologies to help curb the spread of infection is a top priority for public health officials and healthcare providers,” the statement added.

According to the report, Sheikh is also an active member of World Sindhi Congress and Sindhi Association of North America.

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