Japanese Company Develops Commercial Test Kit to Detect Coronavirus on Surfaces

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Shimadzu Corp. official in Kyoto displays a reagent kit capable of detecting the coronavirus on surfaces.

Shimadzu Corp. has developed a reagent kit for PCR tests to detect the presence of the coronavirus on doorknobs and other surfaces and has started selling the product to testing facilities and medical institutions, the company announced Monday.

The product is expected to help prevent contagion via objects commonly touched by many people.

The kit can detect the virus in about two hours after using a cotton swab to wipe the surface of such objects as a faucet, tablet or remote control.

Detecting the virus has been difficult thus far because only a small amount of it adheres to objects. However, Shimadzu’s kit concentrates the virus and identifies it with a high degree of accuracy.

One set with enough reagent for 100 tests costs ¥275,000, excluding tax.

Shimadzu aims to sell 1,000 sets within one year.

“We want to prevent mass infections by thoroughly examining both people and objects,” a company official said.