COVID-19, first discovered in November 2019, is a highly contagious respiratory disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2. According to reports, there are currently a total of 44,967,219 cases of the deadly virus across the globe. Apart from that, the world has also recorded about 1,181,723 deaths, since the outbreak of the virus. So far, we’ve seen several health companies make use of the PCR nasal swab coronavirus test, which takes anything from a few hours to several days for the results to be ready. However, according to the latest report, a company in Singapore has now come up with a new coronavirus breathalyzer test. Interestingly, people will be able to check for their coronavirus status and receive results quickly (less than a minute), using the test approach, according to the company.
Singapore Company’s Coronavirus Breathalyzer Test Is Capable Of Revealing Results Within A Minute
A start-up company from the National University of Singapore, called Breathonix, have come out claiming that it has discovered a new coronavirus breathalyzer test, capable of giving results within a minute. Furthermore, the firm added that it already performed a small trial on 180 people, confirming the test accuracy as 90%. The company carried out the trial exercise at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
Now, the Singapore company says it’s looking up to the regulators in charge to approve the coronavirus breathalyzer test. And with that, it can start using it for people from early next year. Speaking of the new coronavirus breathalyzer test by the Singapore firm, it focuses on identifying the volatile organic compounds released by diseased cells in the body. Furthermore, the test kit will make use of disposable mouthpieces, which users can blow into, to acquire the chemical compounds.
The Test Kit Will Be Cheaper Than PCR Tests
One of the challenges faced while using the current PCR swab tests is that kits are in short supply – especially in regions where demands are high.
According to Breathonix, it’s already planning to expand its trial for the coronavirus breathalyzer test in Singapore, with the hope of improving its accuracy. Furthermore, the company also added that once approved, it’ll sell them at US$20 (R328). That’s about 70% cheaper than the PCR tests.
The coronavirus breathalyzer test by the Singapore company isn’t yet 100% accurate. As such, the company mentioned that users might need to perform sensitive PCR tests, to confirm the breath test’s accuracy. With that, it means the breathalyzer test could likely serve as a screening tool for people. Here’s what Jia Zhunan, the co-founder and chief executive of Breathonix told Straits Times regarding that below:
“The breath test is more like a first-level screen device. Results come, generated in real-time, making it an attractive solution for mass screening, especially in areas with high human traffic.”