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Solving COVID

A 60-second COVID-19 breathalyzer test is provisionally approved in Singapore

A new 60-second coronavirus breathalyzer test has been provisionally approved for use alongside antigen rapid tests in Singapore, reported Reuters on Monday.

The test, which was developed by National University of Singapore "spin-off" company Breathonix, can detect COVID-19 infection in under a minute with "more than 90 percent accuracy," a Singapore-based clinical trial found. Users blow into a disposable mouthpiece, where software then "assesses the chemical compounds of the breath" for infection, writes Reuters. Positive tests are later confirmed with a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test.

The start-up is "now working with the health ministry to run a deployment trial" near the border, Reuters reports. Breathonix is the first breath test to gain provisional clearance in Singapore, and will sell for $3-15.

These 60-second tests could be "key" in re-opening and revitalizing Singapore's travel sector, which has "slowed to a crawl during the pandemic," writes Bloomberg.

More at Reuters.