The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
A Toronto-based Pakistani doctor has introduced an instant COVID-19 diagnostic test using a smartphone.
Dr Naqeeb Khalid, who graduated from King Edward Medical University in 1983 before acquiring experience in the invention of medical devices and systems, told High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar that his innovation is based on a digital platform that displays the result instantly on any smartphone and can also communicate or store the results along with time and GPS information.
He said that instant, accurate and low-cost testing that does not rely on laboratories is essential in containing the pandemic.
"Together with vaccines, we can control the COVID-19 outbreak and return our lives and economies to normal."
In a video conversation with Dr Khalid, the high commissioner said the idea of a COVID-19 test being displayed and communicated by the smartphone is laudable.
He hoped such a quick, hassle-free, accessible and affordable invention would be of immense help to humanity in overcoming the current pandemic and fighting viruses causing tropical diseases such as dengue.
Tarar says that clinical trials of the innovation would prove its efficacy for the COVID-19 test and pave the way for necessary approvals before being put to use at the mass level.
A smartphone application would soon be available to download from the AppStore.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as a gesture of solidarity with the people of India, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items.
It is the first time Pakistan has participated in such a trial, which comes amid a string of positive vaccine announcements by Western pharmaceutical companies this month.
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