Poland develops inexpensive and quick coronavirus test

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Specialists from the DNA Research Centre in Poznan, western Poland, have developed an inexpensive and fast COVID-19 test that gives the result within minutes, with production planned to start next week.

"Many centres have been working on such a test and, reportedly, we are the first in the world," PAP was told by the Centre's general director, Mariusz Herman.

The tests use a new research method, the Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT LAMP). The cost of a single test is PLN 80 (EUR 18), but it can be reduced when production capacity increases. The RT PCR tests currently used around the world are even several times more expensive.

The first LAMP tests are ready, as first orders have been arriving. An Indian biotech company has ordered 250,000 such tests.

According to Herman, the new tests are to be produced mainly for the domestic market, but other countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have already expressed interest. In Europe and the US, work on similar tests has been very advanced.

The RT LAMP tests are recommended by the US, the EU and the World Health Organisation.

The testing procedure can be conducted anywhere, with only a smartphone needed to carry out the test. The result will be known in minutes after taking a swab from the nose and the throat.

The smartphone is then connected with a simple portable device that heats the sample to 65 degrees Celsius to detect the coronavirus.