Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it has developed a new test for the novel coronavirus that reduces the results time to about two hours.
The test was developed by subsidiary Fujifilm Wako Pure Chemical Corp and will be released on April 15, the company said in a release on Friday.
The SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Detection kit will be able to deliver results for the virus that causes COVID-19 faster than existing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which presently take four to six hours, the company said.
Fujifilm's Avigan anti-flu drug is being tested as a treatment in China.
It comes as the number of coronavirus cases worldwide yesterday hit one million - with a death toll of more than 50,000.
According to tracking website Worldometer, a total of 210,191 of the one million people have recovered from the virus.
Just prior to Fujifilm's news, Donald Trump announced on Thursday he had tested negative for the virus for a second time.
The president of the United States - which has seen its death toll hit 2,373, up from 1,941 on Wednesday - underwent the test using a new diagnostic that produced a result in less than 15 minutes, and it determined he has not been infected.
"I think I took it really out of curiosity to see how
quickly it worked," said Trump, who also tested negative last
month after coming into contact with a Brazilian official who
later tested positive for the coronavirus.
A White House official said Trump took the newly released Abbott Laboratories test.
He was speaking at his daily White House news briefing.
Meanwhile, the British Government was slammed on Thursday for its slowness in ramping up its mass testing programmes - which have been left in the dark by the likes of South Korea and Germany.
Figures show Public Health England averaged 7,994 tests each day last week - though numbers are skewed because of repeat testing.
Whitehall officials are banking on the deployment of private laboratories to bump up testing in the near future.