How industry can help in the Covid-19 crisis?

The Latin America governments need to chose the medical ventilators they believe can be rapidly produced to equip emergency rooms and hospitals with the machines needed to cope with an upsurge in Covid-19 patients. Latin America manufacturers can help producing it in short time or even buying and donating it to the Health system.

The concern is that the actually devices available will be not sufficient, so we need to look at designing a model that could be mass-produced, based on criteria issued by the National Health Agencies.

Another initiative is that researchers at the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Postgraduate Studies and Engineering Research (Coppe) and at the Institute of Biology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) are developing a new test capable of detecting antibodies in people with suspected contamination by the new coronavirus within minutes. In addition to being faster, the test is simpler and has a cost four times lower than the PCR test (C-reactive protein test) currently being applied.

In parallel, researchers from Coppe and the UFRJ Biology Institute are looking for partners in the industry for the new serological test. Prof Leda Castilho pointed out that some companies already produce diagnostic kits in Brazil, to try as soon as possible to have this produced industrially and being supplied. Mass testing and the immediate isolation of those who test positive was the key discovered in Korea to stop the epidemic that was initially uncontrolled, said the researcher.

Prof Leda Castilho stressed the importance of developing a national test because the whole world is looking to buy. “And having a national production, a development of a university, transferring it to a national company, we guarantee that this test will not be missing”. It can be transferred to production in different companies and even in public companies linked to the Ministry of Health. Researchers strongly hope that the development of this test will guarantee the availability of a huge number of tests, in order to be able to test a very large percentage of the Brazilian population.

You also can help just being at home avoiding contact with others and the collapse of the health system.

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