County Durham firm Kromek awarded biological threat detection contract which could help COVID-19 fight

  • WATCH ABOVE: Our reporter Julia Breen finds out more about the new technology

A County Durham company is developing new technology which could scan entire cities for Covid-19.

Kromek, which is based in Sedgefield has already won funding for the project from the Department of Defence in the United States.

The prototype (above) which can detect airborne viruses and bacteria Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The technology has been described as a game-changer, not only terms of helping to contain any future virus outbreaks, but it crucially could also help the world get back to normal after the COVID-19 outbreak.

ITV Tyne Tees has been given access to Kromek's labs in Sedgefield to see the prototype which can detect airborne viruses and bacteria.

The funding from the US means the company can now reduce its size significantly so it can be placed on buses or planes, to scan entire cities.

We have been developing the capabilities to protect very large urban areas against the threat of biological attack or something similar to what we are experiencing around the world.

Aranab Basu, Kromek CEO

Kromek says the technology should be ready to use within 12 months - which means if no vaccine is immediately available, this could tell governments, or private companies if there is coronavirus present in certain buildings or in entire towns.

It is hoped that could help contain the virus without the continued need for a lockdown.

Crucially, it could also prevent any future pandemics by identifying unknown viruses and contain them before they have the chance to spread.