The World Health Organization has announced the provision of a new test tool that can diagnose Coronavirus infection within minutes, which will greatly enhance the ability of middle and low-income countries to monitor its spread.
This comes as researchers said that the number of deaths around the world exceeded one million people, with sharp increases in the numbers of new infections continuing to be recorded in many countries.
The new test, which costs five dollars, could transform the tracking of Covid-19 disease in less affluent countries, which have a shortage of health workers and a shortage of laboratories.
A deal with manufacturers will provide 120 million units of testing over a six-month period.
The long period of time it took to obtain a test result remained a hindrance for many countries in their attempt to control the spread of the virus.
Experts said that the low testing rates in some countries with high infection rates, such as India and Mexico, contribute to masking the actual level of the virus spread.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the move as a milestone.
He told a news conference on Monday that the “new, portable and easy-to-use test” would show results within 15 to 30 minutes, instead of hours or days.
He explained that Abbott and SD Biosensor had agreed with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to manufacture 120 million test units, according to Tedros.
The agreement covers 133 countries, including many Latin American countries, which are currently the regions most affected by the epidemic in terms of infection and death rates.
Tedros said that the test would be a vital addition to these countries’ ability to conduct tests, which is especially important in areas with widespread infection.
He added that the new test “will allow an expansion of the range of tests, especially in hard-to-reach areas that do not have laboratory facilities, or a sufficient number of trained health sector personnel.”
At the same time, the number of deaths due to infection in the world reached 1000 555, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
The deaths in Brazil, the United States and India account for nearly half that number.
Experts warn that the true number of deaths is much higher due to the discrepancy in the methods of recording cases.
The death toll reached this number ten months after the virus first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Since that time, the epidemic has affected 188 countries, and more than 32 million confirmed cases have been recorded in the world.
The lockdown policies and some measures taken to contain the virus have caused an economic recession in many regions.