German company creates high-speed coronavirus tests

Sonja Tutty

A new COVID-19 testing kit by the German company Bosch said it can give a diagnosis after 2 and a half hours.

This would significantly cut the current waiting time in Ireland, as extremely high demand and current testing leaves it at several days.

Bosch’s new test uses their own Vivalytic molecular diagnostics platform, which is already used in some hospitals to diagnose other bacterial or viral diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.

The new test was made alongside Northern Irish medical equipment producer, Randox Laboratories Ltd.

“Infected patients can be identified and isolated faster,” Bosch Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner said in a statement on Thursday .

Currently, Ireland is using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing that swabs the mouth or nose to detect virus particles. RT-PCR testing can take up to 4 days for a result.

There are 41 test centres nationwide. Most are clinics with a few offering a drive-through service. For those who are unable to get to a test centre, a healthcare worker can test them at home.

But, many people are still waiting days to receive an appointment, days before they are getting tested and days before they get a result. As a result, the case figures we receive daily portray the country a week ago.

Over the weekend, it was estimated that 40,000 people were waiting on a test. In response, the criteria for receiving a test has been changed. A patient must now show two major symptoms of the virus rather than one.

The HSE has suggested, that with one or more symptoms a patient should react as if they have the vaccine and self-isolate for 2 weeks and contact their GP. Those waiting on an appointment or test result should similarly self-isolate.

Alongside Bosch’s new high-speed test, other companies across the globe are working on tests to speed up the process and slow down the virus.

Alongside testing, there is a race to create a vaccine with the US and China hoping to move their vaccines onto human testing soon.

Sonja Tutty