February 29, 2020
The number of Covid 19 victims continues to escalate rapidly in the world and governments and scientists are turning to technology like drones, infrared sensors and facial recognition to track people infected by the virus.
A team of researchers at the University of Leicester and the University of Pretoria are working on a virus detecting face masks, a pioneering gadget to detect the Covid 19. These masks, are equipped with 3D-printed strips that absorb droplets from the wearer’s breath, which could be carrying traces of bacterial or viral infection.
The strips can then be tested in any standard virus diagnostic laboratory with results ready within a few hours. Initially made for tuberculosis cases the masks could be adapted and could work on coronavirus patients. The team’s lead researcher, Professor Mike Barer, is pretty confident that the masks will be just as effective at diagnosing COVID-19 as they have been with tuberculosis as the former is also a respiratory virus, which means it infects the lungs and is present in the air exhaled out by those infected. These masks could help to determine whether a person is infectious or not, even before symptoms of the virus have appeared. Researchers believe it will still take two more months before the masks are ready to be tested on actual coronavirus patients.