Hungary launches rapid coronavirus testing

Hungary will launch rapid antigen tests for coronavirus infections possibly as soon as Tuesday, PM Viktor Orban said on Monday, "Together with our epidemiologists we are following what new testing methods are available in the world," Orban told parliament.

As of Monday, Hungary had reported 47,768 coronavirus cases with 1,173 deaths. Nearly 2,000 people are being treated in hospitals.

"We believe that antigen tests have a similar reliability to PCR tests," Orban noted. He did not elaborate on the number of rapid tests that will be carried out and a government spokesman declined to respond to further questions, Reuters reported.

Countries straining to contain a second wave of COVID-19 are turning to faster, cheaper but less accurate tests to avoid the delays and shortages that have plagued efforts to diagnose and trace those infected quickly. Antigen tests detects proteins on the surface of the virus. They require an uncomfortable nasal or throat swab, and can produce results more quickly than PCR tests - which detect genetic material in the virus - but are considered less accurate.

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