As times are progressing during the pandemic, we are becoming a witness to new inventions and studies, and as such, all help us understand the entire situation of the coronavirus pandemic a little better. However, have you ever imagined to get a covid-19 test done within just five minutes?
Well, Oxford University seems to have just got us that. Yes, a covid-19 test is done within just a short span of five minutes.
A set of scientists at Britain’s Oxford University have developed what they call a rapid covid-19 test, and it is able to tell whether you have tested positive or negative for the coronavirus infection in just within five minutes.
The study, which is conducted in its pre-print stage, says that they have managed to make a device that detects the virus and also distinguishes it from other sorts of viruses. It has a very high rate of accuracy.
Professor Achilles Kapanidis from the university said, “Our method quickly detects intact virus particles,” adding that this covid-19 test would be very ‘simple, extremely rapid and very cost-effective.’
This can be widely used at a busy and crowded location such as airports, railway stations, and even at workplaces.
Initially, most of the covid-19 tests done would be RT-PCR tests, however, with the launch of rapid antigen tests that would take about an hour or two, this mode of testing became primarily used for mass-testing at places where economies were being opened up.
Although Oxford University has stated that they will be in a position to start the production of these testing devices only by early next year, many are hoping that the device would be extremely helpful as the virus situation is expected to be there for a while now. Health officials, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), have warned that we will need to live with the coronavirus even if a vaccine is developed.
The concern across the world, including in India remains the coming winter season, as, with dropping temperatures, effects of co-circulation of the coronavirus, along with other seasonal respiratory viruses will be high.
The Oxford testing device will, however, be useful in the next stages of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Siemens Healthineers launched a rapid antigen test that can identify the virus within 15 minutes. However, its use is expected to be restricted to only the FDA’s emergency use authorization.
Considering the very tight timeline for the development of a new testing device, timeliness has already amplified in the face of the pandemic and will continue to do so, as we are unlikely to see the virus fade away anytime in the near future.