While health experts are yet to make any headway into the development of a vaccine or cure for COVID-19, the only feasible measure is prevention and tracking. As healthcare systems struggle against the upsurge of new cases, proper and timely testing is key to identify those infected. Current methods used are expensive and time-consuming, which can lead to more infections if patients are not diagnosed properly. Thankfully, a silver lining might be on the way as a British researcher allegedly developed a new efficient coronavirus testing system.

According to Hull medical researcher professor Maneesh Singh, the groundbreaking process can confirm COVID-19 infections in approximately five minutes. Furthermore, the estimated cost for each screening is apparently less than two pounds. If proven to be accurate and cost-efficient, it marks a significant improvement over what is presently available.

Currently, doctors and patients are given a turnaround time of around 48 hours before the results are provided. Moreover, in addition to the long wait, the costs are quite expensive. As reported by Daily Star, Biocel Analytics, a company helmed by Singh, claims that the new technique should streamline COVID-19 testing. Hopefully, this will aid the healthcare system to stop the uncontrolled spread of the virus.

The professor describes it as "a robust emerging technique" that takes a sample using a swab from inside the mouth of the patient. This is less invasive than existing ones which insert a swab into the nostril all the way in. With the help of cutting-edge infrared microspectroscopy, which scans for chemical markers. What follows next is a proprietary identification algorithm that determines if the individual is positive or negative.

Medical workers wear hazmat suits
Medical workers wearing hazmat suits as prevention against the COVID-19 coronavirus at work at the Huanggang Zhongxin Hospital in Huanggang, in China's central Hubei province. Photo: AFP / NOEL CELIS

"We're not after any profits, it's about making a scientific breakthrough. We're in a major crisis. This has been likened to war and war is when tech comes to the forefront and people have to work more rapidly," said Singh. "The government don't have to take it, but we just want to be in a position to offer a potential solution for their consideration," he added. So far, experts consider this as a major breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19, but the ultimate goal is to eradicate the virus.