Singapore provisionally approves 60-second COVID-19 breathalyser test hinh anh 1Using these breathalysers will enable COVID-19 testing to be done much faster and more efficiently. (Photo: Screengrab from Youtube via The Straints Times)

Singapore (VNA) -
Singapore authorities have provisionally approved a COVID-19 breathalyzer test that aims to show whether someone is infected with the coronavirus in under a minute, according to the local start-up that developed the product.

Breathonix, a spin-off company from the National University of Singapore, said it was working with the health ministry to run a deployment trial of the technology at one of the city-state's border points with Malaysia.

The breath analysis will be carried out alongside the current compulsory COVID-19 antigen rapid test.

The breath test achieved more than 90 percent accuracy in a Singapore-based pilot clinical trial, the company said last year.

People simply exhale into a disposable one-way valved mouthpiece that is connected to a breath sampler. A mass spectrometer analyses the invisible particles called volatile organic compounds (VOC) in a person's exhaled breath.

A healthy person will have a different VOC signature from someone who is ill, and different illnesses produce different signatures. The total time from breath sampling to results takes less than a minute.

Any individual with a positive breathalyser result will need to undergo a confirmatory PCR swab test.

Breathonix is in discussion with several local and overseas organisations to use the system, given its strong commercial interest./.