Scientists at Oxford University have developed a 30-minute test for COVID-19, which can be done anywhere. The raw materials for it cost about $25.
A team at the Engineering Science Laboratory, working with partner medics in China had an 8 week head-start on developing the test, which uses a mix of chemicals and enzymes which turn from pink to yellow in color in the presence of the virus.
The test has a huge advantage in both its speed, but also because the chemicals only need to be kept at 65°C (or 150°F) for half an hour, which can be done easily in any hospital, or even eventually at home.
While there are hurdles ahead, the test may be able to complete clinical trials in the coming days.
"We have 3 things to do," Professor Zhengfang Cui, who led the team, said. "The first is to get clinical trials. We just started those here at Oxford University Hospital. The second thing is regulatory approval, which is based on the number of tests done.
"The third is to get industry partners to implement large scale manufacture. For that, we need clean rooms and manufacturing facilities. And then we can roll out he product," Zhenfang said, adding that he hoped the steps can be completed in 2 to 4 weeks.