Rapid screening test being developed in Halifax to quickly detect COVID-19

A new rapid screening test being developed in Halifax could help detect COVID-19 within minutes.

Researchers at Sona Nanotech Inc. are working around the clock to develop the lateral flow tests, which see samples taken from the mouth or nose.

Dr. Darren Rowles, president and CEO of Sona Nanotech Inc., says it would then work similar to a pregnancy test, producing results in five to 15 minutes.

“You don’t have to wait four, six, 10, 24 hours in some cases for a result,” said Rowles.

Lateral flow tests are not as sensitive as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention-approved molecular tests. But Rowles says Sona’s nanorod technology has been able to bring the sensitivity level down even further.

“On some occasions to even peak at ground-levels, which is down to levels of molecular tests,” he said.

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