The established stick-up-the-nose test for Covid is uncomfortable and results can take a while to process too. That slow results service has a huge impact on the cancellation of everyone’s social life. There’s no doubt that alongside the vaccine rapid testing and detection of infected individuals plays a crucial role in the fight against the Covid19 virus and getting rid of the draconian rules and laws gleefully enacted by politicians across Europe and elsewhere.
So, some good news; The Leuven research centre imec is developing an accessible breath test that can tell within 5 minutes whether or not someone is infected with Covid19.
“This test can become a game-changer in the fight against the pandemic and its social and economic consequences,” says Heidi Delobelle, CEO of AG. “As a leading insurer, we consider it our social responsibility to financially support the development of this test.” AG is releasing EUR 250,000 for this purpose.
The sooner infected persons are detected, the better we will be able to contained the infection. Similarly, the more people can be declared infection-free, the sooner we can return to a more or less normal social life. Rapid tests play a crucial role in this area and the development of several of these tests is being worked on feverishly worldwide.
However, most test methods are based on blood, saliva or a sample from the nasal or pharynx. And that means a number of limitations in terms of processing speed, reliability or comfort for the test person. In addition, such tests show whether someone has been in contact with the virus, but provide little or no insight into the extent to which the test subject is contagious and can spread the virus.
The imec rapid test works on the basis of exhaled air and is therefore very accessible. In addition, the person tested will know within 5 minutes whether he or she is a carrier of the virus and if there is a high probability that he or she is contagious. These tests can therefore play an important role in re-enacting social and economic life, such as public transport, the organisation of cultural and sporting events, education, etc.
Heidi Delobelle, CEO of AG :
“Powerful rapid testing like the one that imec is developing can become a game-changer in the containedling of the pandemic. Just as we are financially assisting the Leuven Rega Institute in the development of a vaccine and treatment against Covid19, we consider it an act of citizenship and social responsibility to support the development of this promising rapid test. Moreover, Imec is a leading and innovative company with Belgian roots. For AG, which has been anchored in this country and its economy for 200 years, this is an extra motivation to put its weight together.”.”