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No specialist needed: Fujifilm cuts coronavirus test to 75 minutes

New reagent enables automated PCR procedures

With Fujifilm's reagent, samples can be screened in just over an hour, compared with four to six hours for conventional tests.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings has developed a chemical that makes possible automated coronavirus testing in just 75 minutes by eliminating a process performed by experienced lab technicians. 

The company plans to begin selling the reagent for polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, testing in Japan this month. The chemical can be used in equipment already installed at dozens of major hospitals to screen for tuberculosis. Such an automated machine can check samples for four patients in a single run. Conventional PCR tests take four to six hours.

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