Lim Boon Chuan, 26, is is part of a team of scientists at the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) that is working on a rapid testing kit for Covid-19.
The current RT-PCR testing technology, which is the method used to find the viral RNA, is time consuming and highly specialized. Lim and his team have developed a rapid test kit that reduces the time to half an hour to test a sample. A regular RT-PCR test takes about two hours.
They have also made it more accessible by "removing the need for a highly specialized instrument". A standard RT-PCR test requires alternating the temperature within blocks of time. The rapid test kit they have developed takes away the need for that and uses a single temperature of 65°C to get results.
This is all in a drive to increase and improve the rate of testing. Many experts agree that social distancing and lockdown measures must be complemented by rigorous and continued testing to end this pandemic.