The tests will cost approximately $230 for 10 samples and results can be ready in 15 minutes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll, it's becoming increasingly apparent that we're not really sure how many people are infected because we haven't really deployed mass-testing in all countries.
This is where robust, simple, and quick tests can make a huge difference. This is not a problem we expect to go away in a few weeks, so long-term testing is essential in this challenge.
Textile and chemical product-maker Kurabo Industries Ltd. recently announced that they will sell a product developed in partnership with an unnamed Chinese firm that can detect the new coronavirus in mere 15 minutes -- far faster than the current quickest method.
The kit uses a small blood sample and a reagent, and according to Kurabo, it can have a verdict in 15 minutes. The kit will take a small blood sample and display a red line if the test is positive for the coronavirus -- indicating the presence of antibodies.
By comparison, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests take 4-6 hours to get a response. Unlike PCR, the novel test will also be able to detect viruses at the early stages of disease.
The kit has reportedly already been used in China by medical institutions, and will be on sale in Japan by Monday. The company announced that it will supply up to 10,000 kits per day, especially to research and testing institutions.
A single kit is capable of testing 10 samples and will be priced at ¥25,000, or approximately $230 (tax not included). This would make it comparable but still cheaper to the price estimated for a single CDC test: $35.92.
Several research institutions have developed their own in-house testing. Recently, California University and Stanford University each presented such tests, which they will deploy for campus screening. It is unclear how much these tests would cost.
Another precision equipment-maker (Shimadzu Corp.) has announced that it will have a testing method to detect the new virus in one hour by the end of March.
Quick screening is vital in the fight against COVID-19. It's good to see such developments emerging so quickly.