Covid-19 breath test with 1-minute result approved for use in Singapore – VIDEO

PHOTO: Facebook/National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore says a breath test that can detect Covid-19 infection within a minute has been approved for use in the city state. The revolutionary test was developed by university start-up company Breathonix. According to a Bloomberg report, the breath test works in a similar way to a standard breathalyser used to detect alcohol. The person being tested blows into a mouthpiece, while software analyses the breath’s “signature”, comparing it to the breath signature of someone with Covid-19.

The result of the test only takes a minute and tests will be priced from $3.80 to $15 Singapore dollars (90 – 355 baht). This has the potential to be a key driver in rebooting the travel sector in Singapore, which has been reluctant to re-open its borders and continues to impose restrictions as clusters of infections materialise.

Du Fang from Breathonix says the test could be used to re-open borders in the long term, but that will be for the government to decide. One potential scenario could be to allow travellers from low-risk countries to take a breath test and enter Singapore when the result comes back as negative. Introducing this measure would enable the country to at least re-open to arrivals from “safe” countries.

It’s understood Singapore will initially trial the breathalysers to screen travellers from Malaysia. If someone tests positive using the breathalyser, they will be required to take a PCR test for confirmation of the diagnosis. Officials in Singapore currently use rapid antigen tests for Malaysian arrivals and plan to continue using these, in addition to the new breath test.

According to the Bloomberg report, the Breathonix test has gone through 2 clinical trials in Singapore and 1 in Dubai. In 1 Singapore trial involving 180 people, the test was found to have a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 95%.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.


  1. They do not need those in Thailand. They have dogs that sniff at the victim, and if it wags its tail, the Thais throw a net over the victim, and transports aforesaid victim, lights flashing on ambulance off to quarantine.
    Good doggy gets a biscuit, or maybe two, if victim is a ferang.

  2. Glad to see Toby is looking on the lighter side of life :))) There is an important point here though about putting time and resources into developing rapid (and highly accurate) testing. The elephant in the room is that despite the 167+ million cases recorded so far (maybe double that in reality), the overwhelming majority of the world’s population don’t have Covid 19. That might seem obvious, but think about it; if the majority of the world’s population don’t have Covid, then with rapid and accurate testing, those who have it can be detected and isolated and treated. Those who don’t can go about their lives normally. At the moment,because of those who contracted the virus (through no fault of their own necessarily), the rest of the non infected world have to walk on eggshells…lockdowns, restrictions, bans to travel etc etc… Get the testing right and couple it with vaccines, we could see a return to normal. Also checkout the latest breakthrough from Australia’s Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

  3. That’s stupid as it only detects people with difficulty breathing. As useful as a temperature checkers with most cases being asymptomatic.

    The strain that can infect people despite temperature checkers and facemask is going to spread around the best. Can’t wait for the Singaporean variant mutation ?️

  4. “signature” means it uses machine learning to compare the breath signature with covid patients. This shit can’t work for asymptomatic people unless they’ve already developed the right breathing signature.

  5. Thank god cause covid is the only thing that matters past present and future and it’s certainly not a transitory problem that is already fading into memory in most of the world…

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