Oxford Scientists develop coronavirus swab test for use in schools, airports and homes

It can confirm if a person has the virus or is likely to be infectious.

The 'rapid' tests cost around £ 20 each - which is considerably cheaper than most of the products currently on market - and can give results in under 45 minutes.

Scientists from the University of Oxford's Department of Engineering Science and Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) say it could be adapted for use in settings ranging from community care, schools, airports or home self-testing.

Results of clinical trials are due soon.

Now, a new spin-out company called Oxsed Limited has been created to commercialise and distribute the Covid-19 test globally, and in large quantities.

The test will soon be certified with CE-mark and be available 'in quantity', with the commercial product name Oxsed RiViD Direct.

The experts say it can be used in the field without specialist equipment or training.

Plus, a blue tooth linked fluorescent detection instrument can link the test result into a lab system, so the results can be tracked. 

Prof Zhanfeng Cui, the Director of OSCAR, said: "Our test is ideal for use in community or field settings by lay persons and allows immediate decisions to be made.

"Immediate applications are: returning to work/education (i.e. schools, universities, companies) and making quarantine decision (e.g. care homes, hospitals, temporary migrants, tourists). Use of such a test could be crucial to economic recovery globally.'

Across the world, countries face the combined challenges of controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 while maintaining an economically productive workforce.

Developing countries also suffer from a lack of testing labs and the financing of mass testing. 

Dr Jane Jin, a Senior Licensing and Venture Manager at Oxford University Innovation, said: 'Speed of response is crucial in the current pandemic, and we are very pleased to have supported our researchers through the commercialisation process in just three months.

"Now that the social venture has been incorporated we look forward to seeing the technology deployed globally at scale, in particular in resource-poor developing countries."

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