The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has given the go-head for COVID-19 rapid test kits to be manufactured locally.
This will be made possible by local biotech company CapeBio and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The ministry of science, technology and innovation has welcomed the news that COVID-19 test kits will be manufactured here on home soil, saying this will strengthen the nation’s fight against the global pandemic.
The SAPHRA announcement also comes at a time when the country’s hard at work to stem the tide of its third wave.
Minister Blade Nzimande said testing has become increasingly key and with more testing conducted it’ll be easier for health authorities to track the virus, identify clusters and act swiftly.
The minister’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said: “As the highly infectious delta variant continues to drive South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 infections, testing has become increasingly important. The more testing is done, the easier it is for the country to act accordingly.”
Nzimande added this would help reduce the country’s reliance on imports and make it easier for the nation and other countries in Africa to gain faster access to test kits.
CapeBio has already kickstarted the manufacturing process at its centurion facilities and the first batches of test kits will be available before the end of this month.
The company aims to produce up to 5,000 kits per day with each kit providing 1,000 tests.