Britain approves 20-second Covid-19 test, distributor says

26 March 2021 - 12:50 By Reuters
The Virolens test made by British start-up iAbra and TT Electronics has been trialled at London’s Heathrow Airport and uses swabs of saliva. File photo.
The Virolens test made by British start-up iAbra and TT Electronics has been trialled at London’s Heathrow Airport and uses swabs of saliva. File photo.
Image: Jarun Ontakrai/123rf.com

Britain’s medicine regulator has approved a 20-second Covid-19 test, the product’s distributor said on Friday when it launched a testing system it said could be used in airports, sports venues and businesses.

Rapid tests are seen as a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, but concerns have been expressed about the accuracy of existing lateral flow devices.

The Virolens test made by British start-up iAbra and TT Electronics has been trialled at London’s Heathrow Airport and uses swabs of saliva.

Histate, which is distributing the test, said it would launch with immediate effect following the approval in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and was hoping for a further rollout in coming months.

The company said trials had indicated the test had 98.1% sensitivity, meaning it returns few false negatives, and 99.7% specificity, meaning few false positives.