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COVID-19 test that gives result ‘in minutes’ to be rolled out in poorer countries

COVID-19 test that gives result ‘in minutes’ to be rolled out in poorer countries

A test that can diagnose COVID-19 in just 15-30 minutes is set to be rolled out across the world.

COVID-19 test that gives result ‘in minutes’ to be rolled out in poorer countries

In a major milestone in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, 120 million of the rapid antigen tests from two companies will be supplied to low- and middle-income countries over six months.

The $US5 tests look like a pregnancy test, showing two blue lines for a positive result.

Speaking at a news conference, World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that an agreement between WHO and partners had allowed millions of the tests to be made available to low- and middle-income countries.

“This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have lab facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out PCR tests,” Tedros said.

“This is a vital addition to their testing capacity and is especially important in areas of high transmission.”

WHO says the wider availability of a quick, reliable and inexpensive test will help 133 countries to track infections, closing the gap with wealthy nations.

Wealthy countries that have signed up to the Access to Covid tools initiative (ACT accelerator) will be able to order the tests too.

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