UK company develops saliva-based COVID test kit

A British company says it has developed a saliva-based test kit that is easy to administer and can detect whether a person has and has the potential to transmit the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The company called Vatic said in a statement that its testing was “highly accurate” and had not produced a single false positive result from the group of participants it tested. “It’s very important to get life back to normal,” the company said.

Vatic says “his mission is to design tests that are easy and people won’t mind using them a few times a week.”

Test results are available within 15 minutes, the company said.

The test is not yet publicly available as more trials are needed, but Vatic is now seeking approval for its direct sale to the public.

A report in The Economist magazine said COVID in 2020 had halted a previously steady rise in life expectancy.

Researchers in the UK, Denmark and Germany said that between 2019 and 2020 life expectancy fell in 26 of the 28 countries surveyed. Life expectancy rose in Denmark and Norway and for women in Finland. Meanwhile, male life expectancy fell by more than one year in Italy, Poland and Spain and fell by more than two years in the United States.

Thousands of people rallied Saturday in Bucharest, Romania, to protest against restrictions that began Sunday to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.

The European nation of 19 million has seen a staggering increase in the daily number of coronavirus cases. A month ago, the number was about 1,000 new cases a day. On Saturday (2/10), Romania reported more than 12,500 new cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic in the country in March last year.

The vaccination rate in Romania is one of the lowest in the European Union. About 33.5% of all adults in Romania are fully vaccinated, the second lowest after Bulgaria.

Since the pandemic began, Romania has recorded nearly 1.25 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 37,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Johns Hopkins University coronavirus data center as of Sunday (3/10) had recorded 234.6 million COVID infections globally and nearly 5 million deaths. [lt/ka]

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