Greek researchers claim that they are on the verge of beginning a molecular test for the detection of COVID-19. This may serve as an affordable alternative to kits that are imported and provide sustained access to supplies.
Currently, Greece employs kits imported from several suppliers abroad. The new test will acquire samples through nasal swabs. Two researchers, under the condition of anonymity said that the test may be available in the near future.
An Accuracy Rate of Over 90 Percent
Generally, tests both for the virus itself and for the antibodies the immune system produces to fight the infection are becoming more widely available, but they are not perfect. The tests can come back with false positives, false negatives or confoundingly ambiguous results.
The researchers said their test had a more than a 90 percent accuracy rate. Research centers and at least two publicly-funded Greek universities are involved in the project, launched in February, they said.
Using Antibodies for Detection And Treatment
In an interview this week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the research "great work'. "We won't be depending on tests from abroad, and I believe we will be in a position to make some significant announcements on research into therapy protocols," Mitsotakis told Skai radio.
Greece moved swiftly to contain the virus outbreak by initiating a broad lockdown in March, recording less than 4000 cases, and less than 200 deaths. Researchers said they had also developed a test with 'more than 90 percent accuracy' which can detect COVID-19 antibodies, a sign that someone had contracted the virus. The research was also underway into how antibodies could be used in a potential cure, they said.
(With inputs from agencies)