Covid-19 breathalyser approved and it can give a result in just three minutes

The first device that can detect Covid-19 in breath samples has been approved for emergency use in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Thursday, the InspectIR Covid-19 Breathalyzer was granted approval to be used in doctor’s offices, hospitals and mobile testing sites.

The test, which can provide results in less than three minutes, is about the size of ‘a piece of carry-on luggage’, the FDA said.

Each instrument can be used to test 160 samples per day but tests must be carried out under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

InspectIR expects to be able to produce approximately 100 instruments per week.

They said: ‘At this level of production, testing capacity using the InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer is expected to increase by approximately 64,000 samples per month.’

The FDA said the device was 91.2% accurate at identifying positive test samples and 99.3% accurate at identifying negative test samples.

The device works by detecting five chemical compounds found in the breath of Covid-19 patients.

Dr Jeff Shuren from the FDA said: ‘Today’s authorization is yet another example of the rapid innovation occurring with diagnostic tests for COVID-19.’

However, the FDA cautioned that positive test results on the breathalyser test should be confirmed with molecular tests.

In 2020, a company in Singapore developed a breathalyser test for Covid-19 that provided results in less than a minute.

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