COVID-19: New Global Test To Yield Results ‘In Minutes’
London: During this global pandemic, an instant COVID-19 test will be a shot in the arm for low and middle-income countries. This will dramatically expand the capacity to diagnose cases in these countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The $5 (£3.80) test could transform tracking of COVID-19 in countries which are less wealthy and have shortages of healthcare workers and laboratories.
A contract with manufacturers will pave way for 120 million tests in six months.
The WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called it a major milestone.
Long gaps between taking a test and getting the result have hampered several countries’ efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Experts have stated that low testing rates are disguising the true spread of their outbreaks in countries like India and Mexico, which have high infection rates.
The “new, highly portable and easy-to-use test” will yield results in 15-30 minutes instead of hours or days, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Monday.
“This is a vital addition to their testing capacity and especially important in areas of high transmission,” Dr Tedros was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have laboratory facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out tests,” he added.