A coronavirus swab kit that can give results in 20 minutes has been developed by scientists at the University of South Wales in the UK. The rapid test kit costs less than $125 and is now being evaluated for expanded use. It works by analyzing nasal swabs for traces of COVID-19.
Coronavirus swab test kit gives results in as fast as 20 Minutes
The Department of Health and Social Care in the UK recently released figures showing that 19,316 COVID-19 tests were made yesterday, April 19. This means that more than 500,000 coronavirus tests have been performed since Britain began swabbing suspected cases in January.
This totals to around 300,000 people since patients need more than one test to confirm if they are have indeed contracted the virus. Data has also shown that the United Kingdom has already carried out a 5.54 test for 1,000 people which is fewer than Turkey's 7.14.
This is also at least 20 times lower than Iceland which is swabbing at least 124 people out of 1,000 and is considered to be the highest in the world.
The University of South Wales test can actually help the United Kingdom analyze more samples, and can give results quickly than others if the swab test kits are immediately rolled out around the country.
It is likely to cut the need to send samples to one of the laboratories run by Public Health England or ones that are set up in 40 National Health Service (NHS) hospitals--which take several days to process.
The testing kit is now being evaluated by Cvm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and could already be in use within the week in several care homes.
This will tremendously help health care workers
According to The Daily Mail, "The test is said to use different chemicals to the current accredited test, allowing the university to avoid bottlenecks in the global supply chain. Shortages of trained staff, swabs and chemicals are thought to be to blame for the UK's meager testing program - as well as the Government's slow response to the crisis."
However, it is unclear as to which chemicals the testing machine will be relying on to analyze the sabs. Dr. Jeroen Nieuwland told Daily Mail that "We have been developing our diagnostic testing platform for the last few years. So we know it works well for other infections. So our work has enabled us to quickly switch it to detect the underlying virus for COVID-19. It is really pleasing to be able to support our frontline health workers, to help detect if they have the virus."
The test could be used to try and ramp up large-scale community testing and can run potentially hundreds of samples in one day.