Professor from Anglia Ruskin University helps create 20-minute Covid-19 test

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost


A professor from Anglia Ruskin University has created a new Covid-19 testing device that can return results in less than 20 minutes.

Stephen Bustin is a professor of molecular medicine based at the university's campus in Chelmsford.

The device is called 'Cov2-ID', and was developed in collaboration with NHS staff at Broomfield Hospital.

The hospital said it is a "robust" and "reliable" machine that has returned 100% accurate results in almost 30 patient samples taken.

The 'Cov2-ID' testing device Credit: Anglia Ruskin University
  • Why is this test so unique?

This testing device is unique because it detects three viral targets, making it more reliable than other tests that only look at just one.

It is also able to detect the viral load, which is the amount of virus present in each patient.

The Prime Minister says there's not enough testing capacity Credit: ITV News Anglia

There have been multiple reports of problems with the UK's testing system over the past month.

Read more: PM admits UK 'doesn't have enough' Covid testing capacity as he pledges 500,000 by end of October

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has said the testing issues could take weeks to resolve because there's been such a surge in demand lately.

Professor Bustin said Cov2-ID would enable fast and simple tests to be carried out if approved.

He has submitted details of the test to the Nature Scientific Reports journal for peer review.

Unfortunately, the existing tests available for COVID-19 are inadequate for testing and monitoring populations for viral spread. The tests not only need to identify who has the virus, but they need to work quickly enough to stop them passing it on.

Professor Bustin

Some people in the Anglia region have had to travel hundreds of miles for a coronavirus test due to the lack of capacity locally.

"A patient could feasibly take our test, wait in isolation, and receive results in less than 20 minutes", added Professor Bustin.

"This would in turn prevent the laboratory backlog that is currently hampering efforts to stop the virus circulating in our community."