A coronavirus breathalyzer is a diagnostic medical device enabling the user to determine with 90% or greater accuracy the presence of coronavirus in an exhaled breath.
As of the first half of 2020, the idea of a practical coronavirus breathalyzer was concomitantly developed by unrelated research groups in the United States, Finland, Israel, Indonesia, England, Australia and Germany.
In Indonesia we have GeNose C19 or Gadjah Mada Electronic Nose is the newest medical device innovation designed by UGM to detect Covid-19 symptoms only using people’s breath rapidly. The tool developed by prof. Dr. Eng. Kuwat Triyana, M.Sc., and the team are currently proceeding to the diagnostic test phase before being mass-produced at the end of the year. “We want to set the price cheaper so that we can achieve the social value to help the society in overcoming Covid-19,” Kuwat told reporters. After signing the memorandum of understanding for the GeNose C19 diagnostic test cooperation between UGM and Sardjito Hospital on Monday (26/10) at Sardjito Hospital Training Room, he conveyed this information.
He revealed that this tool had been permitted by the Ministry of Health to promptly undergo diagnostic tests at nine partner hospitals, Dr. Sardjito. The diagnostic test design was cross-sectional and triple blinded. Meanwhile, the subjects’ recruitment is multicenter consecutive sampling until balanced sample size is achieved between the positive Covid-19 and Covid-19 negative groups. In the initial stages of implementing GeNose C19, it will run as a Covid-19 screening tool. As it is being evaluated for accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, it can hopefully be enhanced to a Covid-19 diagnostic tool equivalent to a swab / PCR.
GeNose C19, an instant Covid-19 detection tool developed by Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, has secured a distribution license from the Health Ministry, paving its way for public use, the university’s development team said in a statement on Saturday. Unlike the existing tests, which use blood, saliva, or nasal fluid for detecting the novel coronavirus’s genetic marker, GeNose analyzes one’s breath using artificial intelligence technology, offering a much faster and cheaper process with comparable accuracy to the existing tests.
Meanwhile, Bali Ngurah Rai Airport has reported a significant increase in passengers so far in March. The General Manager of Angkasa Pura I Ltd from Ngurah Rai Airport, Herry A.Y. Sikado said that the airport recorded a 35 percent of increase in flights compared with the data from February 2021. “We received 109,046 passengers on the middle of the March that consist of 54,777 departures and 54,269 arrivals, and that was 35% higher than the same period of time on February 2021” said Sikado on Wednesday (17/3). He also explained that there were 644 incoming flights and 650 take offs in the first half of March, and that showed 5 percent on increase in comparison with last month. “Our data shows an increase in domestic air travel service, despite the Day of Silence celebration on the 14th of March when we had to close the airport from operating for 24 hours,” Sikado added.
Despite an increase on the number of flights that potentially could create a crowd inside the airport, Sikado admitted that his team has been consistently monitoring health protocols inside the Ngurah Rai airport facility. “We keep assuring that everyone including the passengers comply with the health protocols while using the facility. We also placed officials from the Health Office to check the swab and rapid antigen test document from each passenger upon arrival” Sikado concluded.
Due to this demand, Genose is really promising to put in Ngurah Rai International airport as an optional for the passengers when they are going back from and to Bali. Because the current regulation stated in accordance with the Covid-19 Handling Task Force’s decree Number 17 Year 2021, all passengers are required to show proof of a negative PCR swab test which was taken no longer than 2 days prior to the departure or rapid antigen test document taken 24 hours prior to departure.
Genose it self has an aim to increase mass testing of coronavirus at hospitals, airports, seaports and other public places in the world’s fourth most populous country. Genose can give the faster result which the most important thing that we need due to the current situation. Professor Kuwat Triyana, who led the GeNose research project, said a single test takes barely a minute and a half to produce a result, compared to the two days or longer for the standard PCR nasal swab test. “The workflow is very easy,” he said. “The breath is taken from your mouth, put into a bag, sealed, then plugged into the machine whose software interprets it, all within about 80 seconds.
While Professor Kuwat says the breathalyser’s accuracy will only improve as it is used more widely, he acknowledges the breathalyser is less reliable than the existing PCR test, which is seen as the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 around the world. “With this [device] we can screen people and set aside those who are negative,” he said. “The rest can then be sent to do a PCR test.” Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of Epidemiology at Australia’s Deakin University, said existing evidence from before the pandemic supports the feasibility of devices like the GeNose C-19 breathalyser. “The science is there,” she said. “You can pick up signatures of virus infections.” She says the test is akin to a “sniffer dog”. “They’re able to detect volatile compounds — that’s how they use them to test for explosives, and they’ve already trialled them, testing for COVID-19 as well,” she said. “The question is whether it’s distinctive enough for COVID, to be able to tell the difference between someone with a common cold and COVID.”
The country right now has struggled to meet the World Health Organization’s minimum recommendation of one test for every 1,000 people per week — or 270,000 people in a population of 270 million. “Hopefully this device can help to solve the COVID crisis in Indonesia,” Professor Kuwat said. “We can cut this chain of COVID relatively quickly, in one or two months.” Professor Bennett agrees that even with a lower accuracy rate than the PCR test, the GeNose device could make a big difference in Indonesia. “If you’ve got people who aren’t testing, and this is a way of grabbing them when they’re at work or at shopping centres and doing a very rapid test, it’s not as accurate but it will give you a group of people that you can then direct to more formal testing,” she said.”It won’t capture everyone. You’re still going to miss 10 per cent of the true cases that are out there. “But you going to pick up 90 per cent of them. And you’re not doing that at the moment if these are people who aren’t testing. So rapid testing does make a difference.”
Even though genose seems promising test, but we still need to do the vaccine before we can fully travel around the world. Professor Bennett also warns that vaccinations could undermine the efficacy of rapid tests, because it isn’t known “whether you could still be detected if you were carrying the virus but not actively infected by it and didn’t have symptoms As we know, vaccine and health protocols are really necessary to stop the spread of the virus. So we always warn you to keep the health protocols in check and get the vaccinated before decided to go travel or having business aboard, especially to Bali Indonesia. Remember to stay safe whenever you are right now and take a very careful note in every document you should carry around with you when you are going to travel. Stay safe and See you in Bali!