Menarini Diagnostics has introduced a new real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit, CoronaMelt VAR, an updated version of the CoronaMelt Kit, to detect SARS CoV-2 and screen for Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants. Designed for use on real-time PCR lab instruments, the new kit can concurrently detect any SARS CoV-2 variant and identify the three most common ones from oro/nasopharyngeal swabs. This decreases the unknown samples that have to be assessed using DNA sequencing or reflex real-time PCR genotyping assays, the company said.

Telehealth firm eMed has partnered with Delta Air Lines to facilitate Covid-19 testing for travellers who are planning to return to the US. Customers can buy the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test kits at the airline’s website, eMed website or specific Walgreens pharmacy stores. The rapid antigen home test kit does not need any other equipment and is portable for use abroad up to three days before boarding a flight to the US. It delivers results within 15 minutes.

A research team at King’s College London has conducted a large-scale, prospective, epidemiological surveillance study to investigate whether their model using self-reported data could allow early detection of Covid-19. The team analysed the data on 19 symptoms from participants in the UK over three days following the symptoms’ onset and Covid-19 PCR test results from the COVID-19 Symptom Study mobile phone app. According to study findings published in the Lancet, the new model demonstrated feasibility for early identification of Covid-19.