Scientists in China have reportedly developed an express test which can detect the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus in under fifteen minutes, in a major breakthrough which will hopefully help stem the tide of infection.
Experts from a tech company based in Wuxi in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, working with the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, developed the rapid nucleic test kit in just ten days, according to the Xinhua news agency.
The test takes between eight and 15 minutes to produce a result and is currently being mass-manufactured at a rate of 4,000 kits per day, with the city government in Wuxi exploring efforts to boost production even further.
The first batch of kits has reportedly already been deployed to the frontlines at the epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, in Hubei province.
The death toll from the virus continues to rise, as does the rate of infection around the world. On Friday the UK confirmed its first cases of the illness, joining more than 15 other countries around the world with verified instances of the disease.
To date, some 213 have died as a result of coronavirus infection and a further 9,700 have contracted the disease.