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TECHNOLOGY

Israeli medical company produces quick COVID test

So far the company says the test is 98% accurate

A volunteer participates in the testing for the Scentech Medical coronavirus test (Photo: Scentech)

An Israeli company has developed a test for the COVID-19 coronavirus which gives results in minutes.

Scentech, which specializes in producing equipment that allows medical diagnostics tests that analyze breath samples, announced this new development last week.

The test is still undergoing trials at Shamir Medical Center (an affiliate of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine), but so far the company says it is 98% accurate.

The device used to administer the test includes a tube into which an individual breathes sending air from their lungs into the tube where it is analyzed by the “unique algorithm” that Scentech has developed.

"The biomarkers identified in the mapping process are a scientific breakthrough and the basis for the construction of a 'chemical fingerprint' that will be used to identify coronavirus, coronavirus mutations, and immunity status," the company said in a statement.

"Our system is effective in detecting asymptomatic patients, as well as new mutations and new outbreaks," Scentech Medical CEO Yaniv Hevron told The Jerusalem Post. "It requires one operator with no technical skills.”

In related news, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the pace at which Israel is administering the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna has fueled hope that the economy will be able to open up again quickly in the spring, leading to a surge of investment into the Jewish state from around the world.

More than 2 million Israelis have received the first dose of the vaccine while nearly 200,000 have also received the second dose, and plans have been announced to open up vaccination for Israelis from 45 years old and older starting this week. The government has estimated that as many as 5 million Israelis will have received the second dose by the end of March, with most of the rest of the population younger than 16 and at very low risk.

The Bank of Israel issued an optimistic estimate earlier this month that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Israel would grow by 6.3% in 2021 after contracting 3.7% in 2020, which was less than the contraction in economic activity in most other OECD countries.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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