Singapore Researchers Create the Fastest Covid-19 Test

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 14:30

Researchers of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) have developed a new test which will be able to diagnose Covid-19 in five minutes.

According to The Straits Times, the test uses an extremely rapid amplification method that the team have named “Cepat”, which also happens to mean ‘fast’ in Malay.

Professor Jackie Ying, who heads the NanoBio Lab at A*Star said, “We have done some preliminary clinical validation at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital using real patients’ samples, and found the test to be very sensitive and accurate.”

The team hopes to submit an approval for the test in the next month. If approved, this would be the fastest Covid-19 test globally as of now. The test can then be used in hospitals, as well as in general practitioner clinics.

A patient’s secretions are first collected from a swab. The test then looks for the genetic material of Covid-19 in the secretions. After that, the sample will be put in a portable device which will give the result in about five to 10 minutes.

Professor Jackie Ying, executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at A*Star, won the inaugural Mustafa Prize. She was recognized, among her many scientific achievements, for her role in developing a special way of delivering insulin to diabetics only when needed.

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