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Taiwan researchers developed fast, accurate test kit for COVID-19

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said on Wednesday, that Taiwan have developed a new nucleic acid test kit for the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, and it can produce results in an hour  with 90 % accuracy.

The test kits was developed by ITRI researchers in cooperation with the National Defense Medical Center and four private companies, ITRI President Edwin Liu said. He added that it is similar in size of a soda can, which is highly accurate, lightweight, sensitive and efficient.

According to the ITRI, the new test can detect the coronavirus 0-7 days after infection, including in pre-symptomatic patients. The kit is similar to the widely used quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) test but is 57 times lighter at 600 grams.

Director of the ITRI's biomedical technology and device research laboratories Lin Chii-wann said the institute plans to complete the required regulatory applications by the end of the month and have the test kits ready for mass production by July.

If everything goes as planned, 1 million test kits will be available by the end of the year, he said.

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