MPs undergo COVID-19 breath tests before Parliament

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SINGAPORE: Several Members of Parliament underwentCOVID-19 tests before attending the sitting on Monday (Jul 26).

The breathtest is developedby Nanyang Technological University (NTU) spin-off company Silver Factory Technology andonly takesminutes, according to the MPs who posted about the tests on Facebook.

Mr Seah Kian Peng (PAP-Marine Parade) said the user experience”wasmany times better” than the other antigen rapid tests (ART) he had done before.

“It is invented by a Singapore company (and) certainly made me proud as I took the test,” saidMr Seah on his Facebook, adding that he tested negative for the coronavirus.

“For sure, (the) cost of the test kit will have to come down but with economies of scale, I am sure it will,” he said.

Mr Edward Chia (PAP-Holland Bukit Timah)said the COVID-19 test took three minutes, whileSecond Minister for FinanceIndranee Rajah said the test took 10 minutes.

The breath test was “an innovative solution that will benefit many other countries in the world too”, said Mr Chia.

“Kudos to the team for creating such a meaningful impact by improving our global testing capacity to fight this virus!” he added.

Mr Ang Wei Neng (PAP-West Coast) also said the testwas “easy and fuss-free”.


The breathalyser, named TracieX, contains a sensor chip that “traps and intensifies certain key molecules in the breath”, said NTU on its website.

According to the school, more than 1,400 people have been tested with the breathalyser at theNational Centre for Infectious Diseases,Changi Airport Terminal 1, as well astwo hospitals in Malaysia.

A person has to first blow into the breathalyser for 10 seconds, and then capit shut.

The breathalyser will then bedisinfected to avoid cross-contamination before being inserted into a portable reading device.

By analysing the breath volatile organic compounds captured on the breathalyserschip, the device can tell whether a person is infected with COVID-19 within twominutes, said the website.

“This test is quick, non-invasive, and has a 95 per centsuccess rate in detecting positive COVID-19 cases, making it suitable for mass-testing sites such as airports and large-scale events.”

Last year, it was announced that safe distancing measures were implemented in Parliamentin efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The measuresinclude having MPs seated at spaced intervals within the chamber and in the galleries, taking refreshments in different groups to reduce mingling and using separate restrooms.

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