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Sri Lanka university gets Covid-19 antibody testing kits

ECONOMYNEXT – Charities World Vision and Citi Foundation said they had given 1,100 Covid-19 antibody testing kits to Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayewardenepura University, allowing doctors to identify patients who have had the disease in the past as well as diagnose those who have Coronavirus.

“The medical professionals can now determine whether a person’s body produced an antibody response to COVID 19 —indicating past exposure to and recent infection by the novel Coronavirus,” Chandima Jeewandara, Director Operations of the Allergy, Immunology and Cell Biology Unit at the university said.

“When patients are diagnosed using the anti-body testing method, medical professionals are able to gauge the patient’s condition and help them understand the risk factors.

Jeewandara said that medical professionals are enabled to determine whether a person’s body produced an antibody response to Covid-19, indicating past exposure to and recent infection by the virus.

“This, in turn, helps prevent hospitals from getting filled up while helping medical officers pay more attention to the patients who need immediate medical assistance,” he said.

Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) antibody test is also conducted on HIV, Zika virus and Lyme disease.

Prof Neelika Malavige, and Director of the Centre for Dengue Research, of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura said that the gift eased the burden of Sri Lanka’s healthcare system.

“It means a great deal for us as a nation, to every single person who is infected with the virus, the ones who are getting a diagnosis for the virus and the loved ones who are awaiting their quick recovery,” she said.

Citi Foundation and World Vision partnered in May to provide support in improving preventive measures to frontline healthcare workers and most vulnerable families.

World Vision is a development and advocacy organization currently working in 16 districts in Sri Lanka.

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(Colombo/Aug24/2020)