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NUST develops bilingual app for COVID-19 screening | Health

Photo: Business Insider

Researchers at the National University of Science & Technology’s (NUST) College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering have developed a bilingual (Urdu and English) screening app, the first of its kind in Urdu on the Android ecosystem, which enables Pakistanis to self-screen for COVID-19, reported The News.

Developed at the National Centre of Robotics and Automation (NCRA), the app, named COVID CHECK PAKISTAN, has been used for over 8,000 screenings (and counting) in nine different countries, including US, UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia, within the first two days of its beta rollout on March 23, 2020.

The app enables citizens to screen for coronavirus while staying at home and not put themselves and others at risk by going to hospitals.

The app can be downloaded at

US lab unveils five-minute coronavirus detection test

Last week, US-based medical company, Abbott Laboratories unveiled a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes.

The test is a portable test that can be used in almost any health-care setting. The company plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics had said.

Read also: KP government can conduct 500 coronavirus tests each day, says Ajmal Wazir

According to Bloomberg, the molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can quickly be detected when present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said.

US drug authority gives green signal to using virus test kit

On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) parent company Bodysphere gave the green signal for the coronavirus detection test kit.

The FDA has been rushing to approve tests on an emergency basis and last week approved Abbott Laboratories’ test that can deliver results within minutes.

Bodysphere said it was working with the federal and state governments to deliver the test — for emergency use — to the frontlines.

The test is administered like a glucose test but is designed for use strictly by medical professionals.

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