Italy trialling saliva test for Covid-19 that provides result in three minutes

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A holidaymaker on a motorbike (L) returning from Sardinia by ferry undergoes a compulsory drive-through swab test on August 23, 2020 at the port of Civitavecchia, northwest of Rome, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy has recorded 1,071 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, breaking the symbolic barrier of 1,000 cases per day for the first time since May 12, according to an official report published on August 22, 2020. "61% (of these new cases) are linked to holiday returns," and more specifically 45% (97 cases) concern returns from the island of Sardinia, which had been spared by the first wave of the virus but where the comings and goings of careless tourists and revellers have contributed to the spread of the virus. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

Italian authorities are trialling a new super-fast saliva test for Covid-19 which can give results in just three minutes.

The new test, called the “Daily Tampon”, is being trialled by the Italian health ministry and is expected to be approved for production soon, Italian media reported on Wednesday. 

Tampone is the Italian word for a swab test – though the makers named the test in English. The simple test requires a mouth swab and analyses and shows results similarly to a pregnancy test, according to media reports. It differs from the current rapid tests being used at some Italian airports, which instead require a sample of nose and throat secretions and give results within around two hours.

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The Daily Tampon was created by a Lombardy-based company called Allum, in collaboration with the Sannio University in the southern Italian town of Benevento. Allum, a lighting systems manufacturer, started by “designing lamps that could sanitize rooms from the virus,” company director Stefania Magni told local newspaper PrimaMerate. “But we realised that it took too long and was burdensome. During the lockdown we wondered how we could help the country get back to normal as quickly as possible, so we started working on this test along with Pasquale Vito, professor of genetics at the University of Sannio, and the university spin-off Genus Biotech of which he is president.” 

Holidaymakers returning from Sardinia by ferry, wait outside their vehicle to undergo a compulsory drive-through swab test on August 23, 2020 at the port of Civitavecchia, northwest of Rome, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. – Italy has recorded 1,071 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, breaking the symbolic barrier of 1,000 cases per day for the first time since May 12, according to an official report published on August 22, 2020. “61% (of these new cases) are linked to holiday returns,” and more specifically 45% (97 cases) concern returns from the island of Sardinia, which had been spared by the first wave of the virus but where the comings and goings of careless tourists and revellers have contributed to the spread of the virus. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

Italy is not the only country currently working on producing rapid testing kits.

French authorities on Wednesday launched a new kind of test that enables people to get their results quickly.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Rwanda and Tunisia make list of countries allowed in Italy

Health minister Olivier Veran said the new tests, called antigénique rapide in French, will deliver results in 15 to 20 minutes, although the downside is that they are less reliable than the PCR tests.

Source: The local

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