China tests tool to detect COVID traces in air at Olympics

Chinese scientists are creating systems to detect traces of the new coronavirus in the air in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The relevant technology is being tested at the 2022 Olympics, the China Daily reported Wednesday.

"The virus containment work (during the Games) consists of a number of procedures such as sanitizing facilities and testing participants," Liu Peng, a researcher at Tsinghua University School of Medicine, said. Testing the air for the virus, he said, can be an important support tool for early warning.

In addition to directly infecting others through sneezing and coughing, Chinese health officials say that transmission is possible through aerosol particles in the air, especially in closed rooms.

The equipment for detecting these harmful aerosols is a portable device that sucks in air samples and sifts out tiny particles that may contain the virus. These particles are then dissolved in a fluid and passed through a nucleic acid detector. According to the developers, this device is ten times more sensitive than regular nucleic acid testing tools.


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