Scientists from Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have developed new technology that can be used to detect the spread of coronavirus in the air. The technology has already been tested at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
According to “China Daily”, the coronavirus is mainly transmitted by airborne droplets, such as sneezing and coughing, but the virus can also be trapped in the air by aerosol particles, which is especially relevant in enclosed spaces.
A tool developed by Chinese experts can quickly identify the presence of the virus in a space. It is a portable collector capable of sucking in air and aerosol particles that may contain the coronavirus. The system then dissolves the resulting samples in a liquid, after which a detector analyzes the composition for the presence of virus nucleic acids.
The tool is ten times more sensitive than standard coronavirus detection tools and can detect SARS-CoV-2 even when the viral load of the samples obtained is low.
The process from air collection to data transmission to the disease control authorities takes no more than 4 hours.
So far, the new system has only been tested at Olympic venues in Beijing, but later it is also planned to be implemented in other public places, including hospitals, train stations, airports, and so on.