New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: A portable smartphone-based coronavirus testing kit has been designed by researchers in the UK, which they say can provide results within 50 minutes after taking a throat swab. 

The new test could be used to process 16 samples at a time-- or up to 384 samples if using a lab-based detection machine, researchers said as quoted by PTI. 

According to researchers, the test aims to help medical staff under quarantine to return to work as quickly as possible. It would also prevent the spread of coronavirus in the workplace.

Currently, the test takes between 24-48 hours to provide results as they need to be sent to labs.

The new test designed by the researchers from University of East Anglia (UEA), UK will be rolled out to the National Health Service (NHS) staff in a couple of weeks.

"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," said Justin O'Grady from UEA's Norwich Medical School-- which began work on the kit earlier this month-- as quoted by PTI.

"We want to move very quickly on this, and hope that it could be rolled out nationally to hospitals in around two weeks," O'Grady added.

The kit works by sequencing the Ribose Nucleic Acid from a throat swab sample using a rapid three minute RNA extraction-- in order to detect the presence of COVID-19.

The test is quite simple and can be easily carried out by semi-skilled healthcare professional.

O'Grady says that they hope the test could provide additional capacity within NHS as only those who will be ill with coronavirus would need to self-isolate.

"Doctors can get back to work as quickly as possible once they test negative," he added.


(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal