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Quick detection of coronavirus: Oxford university presents 5-minute COVID19 antigen test

It is hard to imagine the pain of those who are lying in a hospital bed, suffering from coronavirus. The lack of vaccine has created hopelessness, not for doctors only, but has strained the entire range of folks whoever comes under the contact of the sufferer.

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A recent report from Reuters reveals that scientists at Oxford University in the UK have created their antigen test to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the body in less than five minutes.

On Wednesday, Siemens Healthineers announced the launch of a rapid antigen test kit to detect coronavirus infections in Europe but cautioned that the industry may struggle to meet the demand wave.

source: Reuters

“Our method detects intact virus particles instantly,” said Professor Achilles Kapanidis of the Department of Physics at Oxford, adding that this meant that the test would be “simple, extremely fast, and cost-effective.”

In rolling out mass-testing and re-opening economies, rapid antigen tests are seen as key while the coronavirus is still circulating, and those already in use are quicker and cheaper but less reliable than current molecular PCR tests.

Dr Nicole Robb of Warwick Medical School explains, “The unpredictable effects of SARS-CoV-2 co-circulation with other seasonal respiratory viruses are a major concern for the coming winter months. We have shown that in clinical samples, our assay (test) can reliably differentiate between different viruses, a development that offers a critical advantage in the next step of the pandemic.”

Since no one knows about the behaviour of this virus in winters, so it becomes of utmost importance to be prepared beforehand. Though current RT-PCR test is more accurate, it cannot surpass the swiftness of antigen kit, said Dr Nicole Robb.

source: Reuters

This change in the climate is going to bring certain novelty in terms of viruses already present in the environment. To defend we should be well equipped with more techniques and first-hand devices to detect it quickly.

The team suggested that the kit could be installed at public gathering spots such as airport kiosks. This test kit will ensure early prevention from spreading the virus further.

It is also revealed that the production at a mass level can only be completed in the coming six months.

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