A new 30-second COVID-19 detection test being developed in a joint venture by India and Israel should be ready for “in a matter of days,” according to a new report.
When the virus first emerged, tests would take up to three days. Even now, testing can take up to 24 hours to get results, often because the tests must be sent to a lab.
But the new test, now being calibrated by the Israeli team after testing was completed in India, delivers results in 30 seconds, a source at the Indian Embassy in Israel told The Jerusalem Post.
“When the calibration is complete, an announcement will be made, and the tests will be mass produced,” the source told the Post. “The calibration process was intended to set technical parameters to improve efficiency,'” the source said, adding, “This is the very last stage.”
In a report last month from the Post, the paper said the test requires a person to simply blow into a tube and the results are available in less than a minute. “It is also very cheap to carry out, as the results are delivered locally without the logistics and cost of sending the sample to a lab,” said the paper, noting that the operation has been dubbed “Open Skies” because it could make air travel safe again.
The news comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had approved the first rapid coronavirus test capable of being taken at home.
“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test for self-testing at home and that provides rapid results,” the FDA said in a statement. “The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is a molecular (real-time loop mediated amplification reaction) single use test that is intended to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.”
“While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home. This new testing option is an important diagnostic advancement to address the pandemic and reduce the public burden of disease transmission,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Today’s action underscores the FDA’s ongoing commitment to expand access to COVID-19 testing.”
The Lucira test takes just 30 minutes to get results.
“The test works by swirling the self-collected sample swab in a vial that is then placed in the test unit,” the FDA said. “In 30 minutes or less, the results can be read directly from the test unit’s light-up display that shows whether a person is positive or negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Positive results indicate the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Individuals with positive results should self-isolate and seek additional care from their health care provider. Individuals who test negative and experience COVID-like symptoms should follow up with their health care provider as negative results do not preclude an individual from SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
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