The new test, called the “Daily Tampon”, is being trialled by the Italian health ministry and is expected to be approved for production soon, Italian media reported
Tampone is the Italian word for a swab test – though the makers named the test in English.
The simple test requires a mouth swab and analyses and shows results similarly to a pregnancy test, according to media reports.
It differs from the current rapid tests being used at some Italian airports, which instead require a sample of nose and throat secretions and give results within around two hours.
Medical staff take swabs for the currently-used rapid tests for travellers in Italy. Photo: AFP
The Daily Tampon was created by a Lombardy-based company called Allum, in collaboration with the Sannio University in the southern Italian town of Benevento.
Allum, a lighting systems manufacturer, started by “designing lamps that could sanitize rooms from the virus,” company director Stefania Magni told local newspaper PrimaMerate.
“But we realised that it took too long and was burdensome. During the lockdown we wondered how we could help the country get back to normal as quickly as possible, so we started working on this test along with Pasquale Vito, professor of genetics at the University of Sannio, and the university spin-off Genus Biotech of which he is president.”
Italy is not the only country currently working on producing rapid testing kits.
French authorities on Wednesday launched a new kind of test that enables people to get their results quickly.
Health minister Olivier Veran said the new tests, called antigénique rapide in French, will deliver results in 15 to 20 minutes, although the downside is that they are less reliable than the PCR tests.