Photo/Illutration A test kit developed by Nagasaki University and Canon Medical Systems Corp. can determine a patient's infection with the new coronavirus in about 35 minutes. (Provided by Nagasaki University)

A new fast and extremely accurate genetic test kit for the novel coronavirus has been approved for use at Japanese health centers, cutting the time for a determination from about four hours to only about 35 minutes.

The device detects the presence of the coronavirus by making many copies of genetic materials taken from a patient’s nose or throat. 
The smallest kit--16.5 centimeters by 24 cm and up to 8.5 cm tall--has the capacity to test six samples.

It is much easier to handle as it weighs only 1.9 kilograms, compared with the standard polymerase chain-reaction test kit, which weighs more than 20 kg.

The device was jointly developed by Nagasaki University and Canon Medical Systems Corp., a Canon affiliate based in Tochigi Prefecture.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases gave its blessing to the new test kit on March 26, saying the device’s accuracy rate for determining a positive test is 90 percent and 100 percent for a negative determination.