Scientists have created a Covid detector that can be mounted on a ceiling to identify anyone in the room who is infected.

The British device is said to be 98% to 100% effective at recognising anyone in a room who has the coronavirus in as little as 15 minutes.

According to The Sunday Times the device is slightly larger than a domestic smoke detector - and could be used anywhere from schools and airports to care homes and offices.

Researchers at Durham University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say the device is as PCR tests - the lab-based method for identifying Covid.

The research is at an early stage and is yet to be peer-reviewed.

New device can detect Covid in anyone in a room in 15 minutes
New device can detect Covid in anyone in a room in 15 minutes

The sensor, made by Cambridgeshire firm Roboscientific, detects chemicals in the breath or on the skin of anyone in the room.

Dogs have already been trained to detect these "volatile organic compounds” and the detector works even if people have no symptoms.

It takes 15 to 30 minutes for the machines to sample the air in a large room, with the results sent to a mobile phone or computer.

The sensors would cost around £5,000 each, the paper said, although the cost could come down with mass production.

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