Simplified COVID-19 Test Kit in Development

      September 08, 2020 11:14

      The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that it is developing a test kit capable of detecting coronavirus infections from simple saliva samples rather than throat and nose swabs. 

      The new method will allow more tests to be done faster.

      A doctor gets tested for coronavirus at a makeshift facility in Asan Medical Center in Seoul on Tuesday. /Newsis

      KCDC chief Jung Eun-kyeong said, "To prepare for the seasonal flu together with the coronavirus epidemic in the autumn, we are developing a diagnostic kit that can detect both."

      Health officials also announced plans to secure 416 additional hospital beds by March 2021 to treat severe cases of coronavirus amid fears of a resurgence.

      At present, 162 patients are in serious condition, and there are no more hospital beds left in Gyeonggi Province, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon and Gangwon Province.

      "Group infections continue to be traced to multi-use facilities, gatherings and workplaces," Jeong said.

      As of Tuesday morning, meanwhile, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases reached 21,432, up 136 from the previous day. Deaths rose by five to 341. 

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