Iowa State University in US develops a zero contact, mail-in coronavirus testing kit

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Aug 03, 2020, 12:18 PM IST
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A US university may have come up with a contact-free mode of testing, which is just as efficient as the conventional mode of testing

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic took over the world, scientists and professionals across all fields have been focused on limiting contact among people. However, one activity which requires one’s presence for sure, at least until now, is getting testing for the virus.

To get tested, one has to visit the local facility and get swabbed. A US university may have come up with a contact-free mode of testing, which is just as efficient as the conventional mode of testing.

Zero contact

On Friday, Iowa State University announced its engineers have been working on a no-contact, and no-touch quick test for COVID-19. This will a mail-in test, implying nobody will need to make contact with each other.

If it works, it could tremendously decrease the risk for both healthcare workers and patients alike.

According to the university, the kit would cost as less as $1 and would allow people to conduct nasal and cough sampling in the comfort of their homes.

The kit comes with a card on which one must spread the sample from their noses and mouths. After this, the sample would be put it an envelope which has an anti-virus coating.

Easy kit

Then, the kit is required to stay put for one day, and then may be shipped to a centre or delivered directly.

Once they receive the material, the unopened envelope would undergo scanning for coronavirus diagnosis. After this, everything in the envelope - including samples would be rid of in the incinerator.

“The unopened envelope would be scanned by an electronic reader to determine a positive or negative result. Then, that never-opened envelope, samples and all, would be dropped in the incinerator," the university’s statement said.

Once the result is ascertained, the concerned person would receive it as a text message or an email.

According to the university, the basic goal of the test is ensure there is zero contact, and no touching.

The researchers who came up with the concept received $200,000 Rapid Response Research grant from the National Science Foundation for at least a year, meaning it could be taken seriously to conduct large-scale testing in the US, if not in the world.