By Kareem Ghannoum
A small WA company is taking on a big role in Australia’s fight against coronavirus.
With more than 7000 cases of coronavirus nationwide, WA drug and alcohol company Alcolizer has been granted $170,000 from the Federal Government to manufacture COVID-19 antibody testing devices.
The handheld blood and saliva testing kits cost around $800 and may prove vital in tracking the spread of the disease, according to Alcolizer director of sales David Fernandez.
“The screenings detected by the devices is what is going to help us identify and contain the virus,” Mr Fernandez said.
The machine is as big as a glucose meter takes 90 seconds to analyse a drop of blood or saliva and detect infection markers for COVID-19.
While the Federal Government has approved a trial of Alcolizer’s antibody testing kits, the units are already being tested at three GP clinics across Perth and are hoped to hit the consumer market by September.
Northbridge Medical Centre general practitioner Dr Andrea Singh has been using the device for the past month.
“We have been offered to test the device by Alcolizer and I have used it on 20 patients, with the results being very accurate and reliable,” Dr Singh says.
In Australia, there are currently two ways to be tested for COVID-19- both using nose and throat swabs at a GP clinic.
Mr Fernandez says it has been Alcolizer’s mission to be the first to supply an online shopping option.
“We are prioritising to have the product given to the public as soon as production is approved, with the device being available online as well as in chemists in the near future,” he said.
“This can also help people to stay away from physical contact and keep their distance,” Mr Fernandez said.
Mr Fernandez says the company is confident in getting production to start and is excited to release their latest device.