Scientists from Britain’s University of Oxford have developed a rapid Covid-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes, researchers said on Thursday, adding it could be used in mass testing at airports and businesses.
The university said it hoped to start product development of the testing device in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months afterwards.
The device is able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy, the researchers said in a pre-print study.
“Our method quickly detects intact virus particles,” said Professor Achilles Kapanidis, at Oxford’s Department of Physics, adding that this meant the test would be “simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective”.
Rapid antigen tests are seen as key in rolling out mass-testing and re-opening economies while the coronavirus is still circulating, and those that are already in use are faster and cheaper but less accurate than existing molecular PCR tests.
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