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June 24, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – 221b Foundation helps scale global access to Covid-19 diagnostics – CO2 monitors to prevent Covid-19 transmissions indoors

By Chloe Kent

The 221b Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by biotechnology company Sherlock Biosciences, is entering into multiple partnerships to increase Covid-19 diagnostic manufacturing capacity to ten million tests per month by the end of 2021. The organisation has entered into agreements with ALBOT Technologies, LogicInk, Cooper International, United PPE, Rokline and binx health to develop and distribute diagnostic solutions in India, the UAE, Singapore and the US.

NHS Test and Trace is working along the local authority in Wakefield, England, to bring additional testing and genomic sequencing to the area. Surge testing is expected to begin on 24 June in Wakefield North, Wakefield East, Wakefield South, Pontefract North and Pontefract South, after a small number of confirmed Delta variant (B.1.617.2) cases were identified. All the positive cases have been instructed to self-isolate and their close contacts have been traced. All individuals aged 18 and above live or work in these areas have been requested to get tested whether showing symptoms or not.

Chilean researchers have repurposed a carbon dioxide detector model to warn of the risk of contracting Covid-19 in enclosed areas, reports Reuters. The prototype measures air pollution which, in a room filled with people, would include SARS-CoV-2 if anyone was infected since it is known to circulate via exhaled vapor. The device is not yet commercially available for sale but is expected to upload data to the cloud and thereby issue an audio alert in case of insufficient ventilation that could result in Covid-19 transmissions. Developed by the University of Chile’s Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Centre of Excellence in Astrophysics and Technologies Related, the monitor is currently being tested on university campuses.

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