As of this morning - Friday April 3 - the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 33,718, with 2,921 deaths.

A team of UK biotech experts say they are close to delivering a “sophisticated and affordable testing technology” that will complement COVID-19 tests already in use.

The technology utilises mass spectrometry to discover proteins unique to COVID-19, and is targeting delivery of test results within 30 minutes that can detect the presence or absence of the virus, measure the viral load, and detect new strains as they emerge.

The joint MAP Sciences and Cantab Health tech could deliver up to 1000 test results per machine over a 24 hour period, the firms note.

According to the developers, the technology could make “a huge contribution” to new plans to boost testing capacity in the UK.

“Our technology delivers results within minutes and with fine tuning we aim to achieve this on COVID-19 but with far fewer false positives (greater specificity),” said Professor Ray Iles, chief scientific officer at MAP Sciences.

“Once developed this technology can provide a powerful and rapid first line in the control of any future new virus epidemics.”

Wash your hands frequently:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing:

Maintain at least two metres (six feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early:

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.