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University in Israel develops 1-minute coronavirus breath test

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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2020. 5:45 pm CST.

Photo Credit: BioWorld

By BBN Staff: As countries around the world continue to innovate ways of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a university in Israel has reportedly developed a 1-minute breath test for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the deadly disease COVID-19.

The news outlet BioWorld, which focuses on science and technology news, said that the invention came out of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and has a 90 percent success rate of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in less than a minute.

The test reportedly works with particles from a simple breath test or throat and nose swabs which are already in use for COVID-19 tests. The BGU researchers say that the “point-of-care” device automatically backup the results into a database that can easily be shared with authorities to aid in a country’s national response to COVID-19.

The trials are now at a stage where the test is being used in an attempt to determine how far along a detected COVID-19 infection is.

“Moreover, the test could be available at a lower price than other methods and kits out there. The team estimates each test kit would cost between fifty to one hundred dollars to produce, which is far less than current laboratory testing,” BioWorld said.

The test could be a boon to the travel and tourism industry, which now has to grapple with countries setting restrictions on movement due to COVID-19. In Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the reopening of the Phillip Goldson International airport would hinge heavily on the availability of reliable rapid test technology, such as the test invented by BGU.

Barrow said that if such technology is not widely available by November 2020, Belize may have to take the risk regardless and reopen the country for tourism, due to the economic downturn caused by the closure of the industry.

 

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