15-minute coronavirus test kits to be sold in Japan: Reports

The test kits are priced at 25,000 yen, or about $235

A Japanese company said it will begin selling a 15-minute coronavirus test kit on Monday as companies around the world ramp up testing to combat the deadly outbreak.

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Kurabo Industries, a private textile manufacturing based in Osaka, produced the kits in response to the sudden surge in demand. The kits were originally developed by Kurabo’s partner firm in China.

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The 15-minute kits use a small blood sample and a testing agent to determine whether the patients are positive for coronavirus, the Japan Times reported. Standard testing takes four to six hours.

The test kits are priced at 25,000 yen, or about $235, according to the South China Morning Post. Each kit is capable of testing 10 samples with 95 percent accuracy. Kurabo is producing about 1,000 kits a day.

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Countries are using thousands of testing kits a day as authorities seek to slow the spread of coronavirus. Japan has reported more than 900 cases to date.

There were more than 236,000 confirmed individual cases globally as of Thursday afternoon, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. U.S. officials have reported more than 11,000 cases.

U.S. officials are seeking out partnerships with private firms to increase testing capacity. New York City announced a public-private partnership earlier this week with BioReference to boost capacity to 5,000 tests per day.

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Free coronavirus testing for all Americans is a key component of the second House coronavirus relief package. President Trump signed off on the deal earlier this week.

U.S. lawmakers are already in talks on a third relief package.

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