Good news: Russia develops 15-minute Covid-19 test, Bad news: will not be available until fall

Rapid control of coronavirus depends on discovering a cheap and practical testing method, and Russian scientists may have found a solution; an especially useful tool, when efforts are focused on detection, delay, and containment. Read Full...

Good news: Russia develops 15-minute Covid-19 test, Bad news: will not be available until fall

Rapid control of coronavirus depends on discovering a cheap and practical testing method, and Russian scientists may have found a solution; an especially useful tool, when efforts are focused on detection, delay, and containment.
While the medical community continues its work on a Covid-19 vaccine, researchers have developed a way to trace the infection that can provide an express result in just 15 minutes. What's more, the device could be available to the public as early as autumn, according to news agency TASS.

The new test uses an isothermal polymerase chain reaction and needs a smear from the nose or throat, according to the National Technology Initiative, which worked with the Medical Biological Union to create the device.

"We have developed a specially modified enzyme, which allows us to speed up the reaction in the analyzer and reduces its time to 15 minutes," said Andrey Tronin, a representative of the Medical Biological Union. Tronin also pointed out that the test doesn't require any specialized equipment, and can be used by absolutely anyone – even the untrained.

 

In February, a group of researchers in Hong Kong announced a brand-new and cost-effective device, which tests for coronavirus in 40 minutes. The new Russian kit is more than twice as fast.

"In Hong Kong, it is likely that scientists greatly increased the rate of heating and cooling, and therefore the reaction takes 40 minutes. In our case, the heating is always constant, which simplifies the design of the device and saves time," Tronin explained.

The National Technological Initiative was created by President Vladimir Putin in 2014, with the aim of making Russia a global technological leader.
On Wednesday, Covid-19 was officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).