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Ten-Minute Coronavirus Test With 94 Percent Accuracy But Government 'Won’t Look At Data'

Ten-Minute Coronavirus Test With 94 Percent Accuracy But Government 'Won’t Look At Data'

What if we told you that there was a coronavirus antibody test available which gives you results in 10 minutes and could bring some normality to everyone's lives?

Well, Medusa 19 is the firm launching that very test following a clinical study carried out in Madrid which revealed a 94 percent detection rate. This is compared directly to blood antibody tests which are only detecting 50 percent of Covid-19 cases.

Volunteer gives blood sample at test centre. Credit: PA
Volunteer gives blood sample at test centre. Credit: PA

The company, which has been set up by the founders of Boohoo, claims that there are 2.5 million tests available right now - with the capacity to produce more than 100 million units per month.

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According to Medusa 19, the only issue is that the government isn't willing to take a look at the data. Instead, local lockdowns are being implemented, future events are being cancelled, and people are continuing to contract the deadly virus.

In the UK to date there have been more than 380,000 cases of the coronavirus with a total of 41,705 deaths.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Restrictions have been introduced in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and Midlands to tackle the rising infection rates in those areas.

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In Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire residents can't socialise with others outside their households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.

As well as this, leisure and entertainment venues, including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, will close between 10pm to 5am.

Pubs are set to close at 10pm. Credit: PA
Pubs are set to close at 10pm. Credit: PA

Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that another wave of coronavirus is 'inevitable', telling Sky News: "There's no question we're now seeing a second wave coming in. We see it in France, we see it in Spain, across Europe."

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It feels like another national lockdown isn't far away.

In comparison, countries such as South Korea began building a testing system back in January - within days of identifying the first Coronavirus cases.

This, alongside meeting with major medical companies, meant that within a week a diagnostic test had been approved for emergency use and drive-through testing facilities were being set up to test thousands of people. So why is the UK so different?

Boris Johnson. Credit: PA
Boris Johnson. Credit: PA

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Speaking to LADbible, Christian Stephenson, Chief Development Officer at Medusa 19, said: "We want to get this in front of the government now. We've had several chats but they lump us in the bracket of blood antibody testing.

"They just see the word 'antibody' and think 'it's a blood antibody test'. In February, the government bought a significant amount of tests from China which turned out to be fake. So they had their hands very burnt, they have a very negative opinion of blood antibody tests.

"All we want is the government to look at our data. At the moment, they won't even look at the data. It's incredibly frustrating."

The method works in the same way as a pregnancy test. However, it's not urine being analysed, it's saliva and it detects Covid-19 antibodies. Spit into a tube, lines indicate your result.

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That might sound a bit gross but the alternative methods are taking blood or shoving a swab so far into your facial orifices that your eyes water and your gag reflex kicks in. Not ideal.

A swab being taken from a patient. Credit: PA
A swab being taken from a patient. Credit: PA

Stephenson reckons the test is a 'game changer', especially considering the accuracy for people with no symptoms. He went on to explain how, in comparison to a blood antibody test, the results differ massively.

"Blood antibody tests were only detecting 50 percent of those people, whereas we were detecting 94," he said. Adding: "We perform very, very differently."

So, could this be the way forward to get things back on track and bring about a little bit more normality? Stephenson certainly thinks so.

He said: "Obviously in line with government guidelines, but you could get schools open, businesses open, reduce the threat of these local lockdowns."

The Medusa 19 test kit. Credit: Medusa 19
The Medusa 19 test kit. Credit: Medusa 19

The hope is for the test to work as a triage - to filter people accordingly so that only the 'really sick' are going for a PCR test.

This in turn will reduce the burden on those sites that are doing PCR tests, reduce the burden on the government and get people moving in the right direction.

According to Stephenson, the Spanish government is interested in the test and are starting a 500-patient study on university students.

He added: "It's frustrating that we have overseas governments willing to engage with us and take the product but on our own doorstep we aren't getting the same interest.

"[Changes] would be almost immediately. It would just take the pressure off the PCR sites now. We've got stock of the products that can literally sell tomorrow. This isn't a promise for the future, it's here now."

LADbible has contacted the government for comment and we will update the story accordingly.

Featured Image Credit: Medusa 19

Topics: UK News, News, Coronavirus, covid-19 positive, UK

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]