New COVID breath test provisionally approved in Singapore

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The unloved Corona rapid tests by swabbing the nose or throat may soon be a thing of the past: Health authorities in Singapore have given preliminary approval to a novel breath test that is said to detect the virus “accurately within one minute,” the National University of Singapore (NUS) said Monday. The test was developed by the company Breathonix.

The company, founded by NUS graduates, is working closely with the Southeast Asian city-state’s Ministry of Health during the trial phase. The “BreFence Go Covid-19 Breath Test System” will reportedly now be used on entrants at the border between Malaysia and Singapore at the so-called Tuas Checkpoint.

“The breath test can be easily administered by trained personnel, but does not require medically trained personnel or laboratory processing,” the statement said. “All a person has to do is blow into a disposable valve mouthpiece connected to a high-precision breath sampler.”

The breath is thereby fed into a mass spectrometer for measurement. The instrument identifies volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath as biomarkers for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results are generated in less than one minute. If a test is positive in the sample phase, a PCR test is performed for confirmation. In recent months, the Breathonix technology has already been successfully tested on a random basis at Singapore Airport and Dubai, among other locations.

Other companies are also working on corona breath tests. The company Silver Factory Technology, for example, has developed a device called “TracieX,” of which 200,000 units could be produced per month starting in June.

-sources: aerztezeitung.de/medica.de/picture: pixabay.com

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