Painless new virus test fast-tracked

 

A new world-first coronavirus test will be rolled out across Melbourne's priority suburbs amid fears a second wave of the virus will hit the state.

The saliva test, developed by scientists at Victoria's Doherty Institute, will replace the traditional nasal swab, with an army of health crews going door-to-door with the new testing equipment today.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced last week Keilor Downs, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Maidstone, Hallam and Broadmeadows were known hot spots.

Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham completed the top 10 list.

A man conducts a COVID-19 test by inserting a swab in his nose, under the guidance of a member of the testing team at a pop-up testing site in the suburb of Broadmeadows in Melbourne. Picture: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A man conducts a COVID-19 test by inserting a swab in his nose, under the guidance of a member of the testing team at a pop-up testing site in the suburb of Broadmeadows in Melbourne. Picture: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images


Royal Melbourne Hospital department of clinical microbiology Professor Deborah Williamson said the new test was a non-invasive alternative to COVID-19 testing.

"This novel diagnostic approach has been trialled in our laboratory and in labs around the world, and our work suggests this approach may be an alternative to swab testing in some settings," she said.

"The Doherty Institute public health laboratories are pleased to work with the Victorian Government and other laboratories to assess the feasibility, acceptability and scalability of saliva testing in the community."

Melburnians living outside the city's hot spots can expect to receive traditional nasal swabs when being tested for coronavirus.

It follows the State Government's stern warning yesterday suburban lockdowns were on the table as experts analyse new COVID-19 data later today.

Victoria recorded 49 new cases yesterday, an increase of eight on Saturday's figures and the highest daily total since April 2.

Four of the new cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of infection still under investigation in the remaining 45.

Originally published as Painless new virus test fast-tracked


Electric summer: Lightning to strike across NSW

Premium Content Electric summer: Lightning to strike across NSW

NSW weather: Lightning and thunderstorm forecast for summer

Bypass won’t be open in time for Christmas, here’s why

Premium Content Bypass won’t be open in time for Christmas, here’s why

COUNCIL explains why bypass won’t open before summer holidays, as planned.

34 artists show off their works, studios, creative processes

34 artists show off their works, studios, creative processes

THE Open Studios art trail is on again this weekend, and it’s a rare opportunity to...