New COVID-19 Test Provides Results In Under Half An Hour

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and infect people from all walks of life, researchers all across the world are working to improve the current testing methods for the virus alongside other scientists that are also hard at work in developing a definitive cure for the virus.

Thankfully, even though there is still no working cure for the virus, a new report reveals that scientists were recently able to develop a new testing method that is capable of yielding results as quick as under half an hour. Developed by a team from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Center for Advanced Research (OSCAR), the new technique is developed as an answer to the need to make quicker results, what with the increasing amount of people that unknowingly get infected by the virus from the pandemic.

Per the developers, in addition to not requiring a complicated instrument, the new method is much faster than the ones that are currently being used in many states across the country. Previously, viral RNA tests, which also require a sample of tissue with either blood or other type of fluid, needs at least an hour and a half or even two hours in order to provide result, while this new method can provide them in just 30 minutes.

With Professor Zhanfeng Cui and Professor Wei Huang at its helm, the team behind this new method has reportedly been working on improving test capabilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The beauty of this new test lies in the design of the viral detection that can specifically recognise SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RNA and RNA fragments. The test has built-in checks to prevent false positives or negatives and the results have been highly accurate,” Huang said.

And due to the technology being very sensitive, it can reportedly detect the virus even when the patients themselves are still in the early stages of the infection, potentially helping further stop the spread of the pandemic.

Furthermore, the results can also be read by the naked eye, making it much more efficient, especially in rural areas and community health centers.

Coronavirus testing The Trump administration marked COVID-19 tests as an essential health benefit, which allows Medicaid and Medicare plans to cover the cost of the screening. Pixabay