Covid-19 tests that give results in minutes to be rolled out worldwide

Tests for Covid-19 that show on-the-spot results in 15 to 30 minutes to be rolled out worldwide | Photo: TheGuardian

Seoul, South Korea — Covid-19 tests that can show results on-the-spot to be rolled out worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has given emergency approval to one of such test made by the South Korean company SD BioSensor, while the second test from a US company is expected to be available shortly as well.

These two companies will be suppling up to 120 million rapid antigen tests to low- and middle-income countries for $5 (£3.90) each or possibly less.

The tests are expected to show Covid results in approximately 15-30 minutes, hoping to save many thousands of lives and slowing the pandemic in both poor and rich countries.

Similarly as pregnancy tests, these tests will be displaying two blue lines if the individual is positive for the virus, allowing quick and easy but high-quality mass screening to health workers, who are dying in disproportionate numbers in low income countries.

Although the tests are targeted to poorer countries, wealthy countries that have signed up to the Access to Covid tools initiative (ACT accelerator) such as the United Kingdom will also be allowed to order these tests. Germany has already ordered 20 million of these Covid-19 tests.

While the rapid tests will not pick up all cases, they can allow several infectious people to be identified before they have symptoms and allow them to go into quarantine before further spreading the virus. Therefore, these fast, easy and cheap tests will reduce the spread of Covid-19 to an extend.