Baguio City – DNA Holdings Corporation, publicly listed healthcare company in the Philippines, claimed it developed a system that can detect whether or not someone is infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within three hours.
The company is also eyeing the production and distribution of improved N95 grade masks within the Philippines to answer the low supply of masks due to lack of exports from other countries.
Here’s the full transcript of the company’s claim made through email:
“DNA Holdings Corporation today [March 5] announced a breakthrough that can detect whether or not someone is infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within three hours.
This early detection outpaces the current detection system utilized in the Philippines which requires 14 days of quarantine and observation and 2 days for confirmation of results.
In DNA’s detection-and-containment system, the first part requires a swab of DNA from a suspected COVID-19 carrier to check for any genetic similarities that matches with a confirmed COVID-19 sample which can be done in the country.
“Using DNA gives us a more accurate way to detect if someone is infected with the virus. We would see results more immediately, which lessens the possibility of that person getting hospital-acquired infections from a long quarantine,” said DNA Chief Information Officer and Medical Director, Dr. KC Halili.
She added that early detection and subsequent containment are key when dealing with pandemics, especially given how quickly the new coronavirus is spreading. As of writing, there are nearly 80,000 confirmed cases worldwide, which is nearly ten times more than the total cases of SARS in its 8-month period.
DNA also emphasized the importance of containment should a patient be confirmed to carry COVID-19.
DNA nCorV system includes confinement in a complete isolation room system that can be installed for an existing two-patient room. The containment room is equipped with a machine that disinfects the air of airborne pathogens and an ante-room, which prevents contamination from doctors, nurses and med techs moving between the rooms.
“This kind of system helps keep the virus from spreading when people move from room to room.” said DNA President and CEO Robert van Zwieten. “It becomes a matter of national security so containing the virus and keeping it from spreading is of utmost importance.”
The system is ready to be delivered to hospitals but has yet to be adopted by DOH for use. DNA is hoping for quick adoption in order to debilitate the rate at which the COVID-19 is infecting people. Should the process of proper containment develop too slowly, the COVID-19 may continue to spread even during the summer.
“For the spread to stop, we need to quarantine those who already have it. With a large population in congested metrocities, it’s easier for the virus to spread” said Halili. “Stopping the spread to a new live host (humans), will lead to eradication of the virus. With no live human host, the virus dies.If we don’t act fast enough, the virus might mutate further and begin to thrive in hot weather instead of die off. The fatality rate may eventually rise.”
DNA Holdings is also currently in the process of developing a faster one-step test kit that will give results within 15 minutes. It hopes to finish and produce it in time to prevent the further spread of the virus. Alongside this, DNA Holdings is eyeing the production and distribution of improved N95 grade masks within the Philippines to answer the low supply of masks due to lack of exports from other countries. These masks will have a treated second layer that is bactericidal against pathogens.”
By: Armando M. Bolislis