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Coronavirus test hailed as ‘game-changer’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Scientists and governments across the globe are scrambling to improve coronavirus testing technology, with a new British trial hailed a “game-changer”.

Scientists and governments across the globe are scrambling to improve coronavirus testing technology, with a new British trial hailed a "game-changer".

The antibody test developed by Public Health England shows who has had the virus but not shown symptoms.

The UK Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said work on the antibody test is "progressing very fast", ITV reports.

"They've got a test in house they've got going and we're looking at ways at getting the much more widespread version out," he said at the government's daily pandemic briefing.

"It is a game-changer.

"And the reason it's a game-changer is that it allows you to understand the proportion of the asymptomatic population – who's had this disease, but hasn't had symptoms."

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the test as a potential breakthrough.

"The great thing about having a test to see whether you've had it enough is suddenly a green light goes on above your head and you can go back to work safe and confident in the knowledge that you are most unlikely to get it again," he said.

"So for an economic point of view, from a social point of view, it really could be a game-changer."

Meanwhile, researchers at Oxford University in the UK have developed a coronavirus test that could give results in just 30 minutes.

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve explained

The highly sensitive test can detect the virus in its very early stages, the Telegraph reports.

Previous tests took from 90 minutes to two hours before a result was available. That crucial time lag can slow down authorities' response to the pandemic.

READ:  UK officials 'avoided' looking into Russian meddling in Brexit vote

The test has been endorsed with clinical samples at Shenzhen Luohou People's Hospital in China and has a 100 per cent success rate in detection of both positive and negative results.

Professor Zhanfeng Cui, director of the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR), said it would initially be used at medical centres, with the potential it could be used by people in home testing.

Across the UK, confirmed cases of the virus rose to 2626 overnight, up from 1950 on Tuesday, the BBC reports.

The UK death toll has now reached 104 after 32 more people died in England after testing positive.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?

 The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.

 What are the symptoms of someone infected with coronavirus?

Coronavirus patients may experience flu like symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-test-hailed-game-changer-by-uk-government-top-scientist/8c197475-2cd6-4282-9095-8d88f507d33f

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