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Coronavirus

Japan targets 400,000 coronavirus antigen tests weekly

New kits set for approval give results in 15 minutes, faster than PCR method

Japan seeks to ensure capacity to conduct wide-scale antigen tests, which produce results more quickly than PCR tests.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan hopes to test 400,000 people per week for the novel coronavirus, with the health ministry planning to approve the nation's first antigen test kit for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Though antigen tests are less accurate than polymerase chain reaction testing, they offer results in about 15 minutes as opposed to hours. PCR testing is currently the primary method for detecting COVID-19 infections, but Japan hopes to bolster its testing regime by combining the two types.

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