Australia orders 1-5 million finger-prick tests to combat Coronavirus
Daisy Akhtar | On 06, Apr 2020
As the global race is on to produce a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19, Australian researchers are trialling new drugs for health workers at clinics and airports. Finger-prick tests, along with 1.5 million face masks and 63,000 COVID-19 test kits have arrived in Australia as the country prepares for a surge in the virus outbreak.
Melbourne researchers are trialling a drug aimed at the auto-immune disease lupus, in the hope that it can prevent COVID-19 among health workers. It is hoped that home test kits could soon become available through major supply chains, including Amazon.
Vital research with valuable findings
US researchers identified 69 existing/experimental medications including drugs for Type 2 Diabetes, Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s, which may help treat COVID-19 Website bioRxiv claims that scientists have cloned and tagged 26 of the Coronavirus’ 29 genes.
Scientists have now identified 66 human proteins that could be targeted by 69 existing FDA approved drugs.
Clinical trials are now being evaluated for the treatment of COVID-19
Drugs offering potential are
- (used to treat malaria)
- (used to treat schizophrenia)
- (for Type 2 diabetes)
Warnings by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia are now in place to prevent doctors and other medics from issuing any of the above drugs to anyone who hopes that they could be cured of COVID-19.
Latest findings from blood tests
There is a possibility that a ‘stop-gap’ passive vaccine harvested from the blood of patients, who’ve recovered from COVID-19, can now be successfully injected into vulnerable people as a trial test.
Melbourne University is actively seeking 100 healthy volunteers for clinical trials of a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 during the coming months.
$2 million is now available to fund a short term ‘passive vaccine,’ against COVID-19, to be accessible for health workers and vulnerable people. Research work was undertaken in China where blood plasma of recovered people from the virus was injected into sick people, in the hope that those antibodies would eradicate the disease. The Institute is working 24/7 to produce a COVID-19 test that can offer a result in 30 minutes, as opposed to the three hours it presently takes.
A further $2 million has now been donated towards the research project on COVID-19; however, until a permanent vaccine can be found, an injection would need repeating every two months for vulnerable
Australians and frontline health workers
As tension grows regarding a possible cure for COVID-19, Australian pharmacies have been inundated with drug requests in an attempt to beat the virus.
UK finger-prick testing
The UK Government has announced that home testing kits could be widely available from Amazon and leading Pharmacies within days. A simple test could detect antibodies in the blood, and therefore check if someone has, or has had, COVID-19. 3.5 million antibody tests have now been purchased, thereby allowing key workers to return to work.
Eventually, the UK public will have full access to antibody testing kits.