A kit that can detect coronavirus is now on sale in Japan. The coronavirus detection kit hit the Japanese market on Monday and is the first of its kind in the world.

Japanese precision instrument maker Shimadzu Corp. said the detection kit can easily detect the deadly virus on surfaces, including doorknobs, faucets, and computers, in 100 minutes. To use this kit, users should wipe the surface of an object with the cotton swab included in the kit and then put it in a container containing saline solution.

After a few minutes, users should take the cotton swab out of the container and apply test reagents to confirm the presence of coronavirus. Shimadzu, which manufactures the coronavirus detection kit, said the product uses a PCR or polymerase chain reaction to detect the virus.

The Kyoto-based firm revealed that each detection kit costs $2,800 and can conduct up to 100 tests. However, it only aims to see 1,000 units of the kit every year.

“With the addition of this kit, we want to offer ways to prevent infections comprehensively,” said a Shimadzu Corp. official. The official also revealed that the firm would prioritize providing medical facilities and other businesses with the kit. Businesses that provide testing services, including nursing homes will also get their own kits.

Studies show that the coronavirus is also transmitted through surfaces. In fact, surface transmission is one of the most common ways people contract the virus. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health revealed last year that the coronavirus could live up to 72 hours on plastic, 48 hours on stainless steel, and 24 hours on cardboard.

Meanwhile, Shimadzu Corp. is not a new name in the world’s fight against COVID-19. In March 2020, the firm developed a testing method that could detect the new coronavirus in an hour. The test helped minimize the time and cost required for screening COVID-19 patients in Japan.

Coronavirus Protection
Woman in protective gears to prevent coronavirus infection. Photo by: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

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