In the United Kingdom, researchers have designed a portable smartphone-based coronavirus testing kit. This kit is said to provide results in just 50 minutes after taking a throat swab.

It usually takes 24-48 hours to get results from the current tests because they are sent to the labs. The researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, who created the test to be rolled out to test the National Health Service (NHS) staff in two weeks.

At a time, 16 samples can be processed under the new molecular test. If a lab-based detection machine is used up to 384 samples can be tested, they said.

The test kit aims to help the medical staff in self-isolation return to work as soon as possible. According to the UEA researchers, the test will also ensure that the virus is not spread by those at work.

Lead researcher, Justin O’Grady, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said, “The idea behind this is that we need to test NHS staff more quickly, so they can stay at work if they are well, or go home if they’re a risk to potentially very vulnerable patients.” He added, “We want to move very quickly on this, and hope that it could be rolled out nationally to hospitals in around two weeks.”

Using a rapid three minute RNA extraction from a throat swab sample, the RNA is sequenced to detect the presence of Covid-19.

“The test is simple to use, so it could be carried out by a semi-skilled healthcare professional,” said O’Grady.

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