Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has partnered with Graphene Leaders Canada’s (GLC) subsidiary GLC Medical to trial a new Covid-19 test that can produce results in a short span of time.

The new technology is believed to have the potential to have global implications for Covid-19 testing and is performed with a handheld unit.

Edmonton International Airport president and CEO Tom Ruth said: “We all want travel to get back to normal and a rapid Covid-19 test will accelerate this return while enhancing passenger confidence in the safety of our industry.

“All airlines, airports and the whole travel and hospitality sector are looking for this solution. If EIA can play a role in bringing new technology and science forward by partnering with experts like GLC, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

By taking a saliva sample from a person, the unit is expected to tell if someone has Covid-19 in under one minute.

The test, which eliminates the need for nasal swabs, will help address the need for a 14-day quarantine period in Canada and potentially other international quarantine restrictions.

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Furthermore, it can help travellers at Edmonton International Airport feel safer in returning to travel.

The test is still undergoing clinical testing as part of the regulatory approval process with health authorities.

Graphene Leaders Canada president and CEO Donna Mandau said: “This graphene-enhanced rapid test demonstrates the power of graphene innovation to overcome the challenges of Covid-19.”

The person being tested will provide a saliva sample into the testing unit, which will have the graphene surface inside designed to bond to the spike protein in the virus.

The measurable change of graphene’s electronic characteristics will be used to determine if a person is infected or not. A red or green light will be shown in under one minute to indicate if a person is virus free or not.