Japan to Approve Coronavirus Antigen Test Kit on Wednesday

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, May 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday that his ministry plans to give approval on Wednesday to an antigen test kit that can detect coronavirus infections quickly.

Tokyo-based reagent maker Fujirebio Inc., which developed the kit, applied for approval on April 27.

The kit will initially be supplied for use in emergency medical services and for testing of people who had close contact with those with the virus, Kato said at a press conference.

The antigen test kit can detect proteins unique to the novel coronavirus from a sample taken from the back of the nose. It can provide results in about 30 minutes, quicker than polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, which are widely used to test people for the virus.

A PCR test is expected to be used to confirm whether a person is negative for the virus, because the antigen test is thought to be less accurate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press