Singapore approves breath test for nCoV

Singapore authorities temporarily approved a breath test method for nCoV, which gives results in less than a minute, with an accuracy of more than 90%.

Breathonix, a company under the National University of Singapore (NUS), said it is working with the Ministry of Health to test the technology at one of the border gates between Singapore and Malaysia. The breath test will be done along with the antigen rapid test to detect the fastest nCoV positive cases.

In 2020, Breathonix said the breath test was more than 90% accurate in a clinical trial in Singapore. This device uses disposable mouthpieces and is designed to ensure no cross-contamination. After a person blows into the tube, the machine checks for chemical compounds in the breath to determine if the person has the virus. According to the company, those who test positive must be tested further by PCR to confirm.

Breathonix said it is in discussions with a number of domestic and foreign organizations to put the device into use. A company representative said that the test will be sold for 4 to 15 USD, depending on the quantity purchased. Other countries, including Indonesia and the Netherlands, have implemented a similar breathing test for Covid-19.

The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) website confirms the provisional approval of this test method.

Singapore is facing a strong Covid-19 outbreak, forcing authorities to tighten regulations, including allowing gatherings of less than two people, restaurants only selling takeout, encouraging public facility for employees to work from home. To date, the country has recorded nearly 62,000 infections and 32 deaths from nCoV.

An employee simulates using Breathonix’s nCoV breath test machine in Singapore. Image: Reuters

Mai Dung (According to the Reuters)


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