Healthcare company DNA Holdings Corp. (DNA) said it has developed a system that allows the detection of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) “within three hours.”

In a statement e-mailed to reporters on Wednesday, the listed healthcare company said that it now has a faster way to detect if a person is infected with the deadly virus that is believed to have originated in Hubei Province in China.

“This early detection [system] outpaces the current… system utilized in the Philippines which requires 14 days of quarantine and observation and 2 days for confirmation of results,” the company said.

DNA said its detection system uses a swab of DNA from a suspected coronavirus disease patient. The sample will be examined to find out if there are genetic features that match with the sample DNA of a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

The company said the procedure can be carried out in the Philippines.

DNA Chief Information Officer and Medical Director Krischelle D.G. Halili said: “Using DNA gives us a more accurate way to detect if someone is infected with the virus. We would see results more immediately, which lessens the possibility of that person getting hospital-acquired infections from a long quarantine.”

The listed company also noted that there are currently about 80,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. It said the number is “nearly ten times more than the total cases of the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS in its eight-month period.”

DNA said further that its system requires the confinement of patients in a complete isolation room system.

It said the isolation room is capable of disinfecting the air of airborne pathogens and it also has an ante-room that can prevent contamination from doctors, nurses and med-techs.

DNA President and CEO Robert van Zwieten said: “This kind of system helps keep the virus from spreading when people move from room to room.”

“It becomes a matter of national security so containing the virus and keeping it from spreading is of utmost importance,” she added.

The company said the system will be delivered to hospitals. It is also hoping that the Health department will adopt the system for wider use.

“DNA is hoping for quick adoption in order to debilitate the rate at which the COVID-19 is infecting people. Should the process of proper containment develop too slowly, the COVID-19 may continue to spread even during the summer,” it said.

Moreover, the company is currently developing a “faster one-step kit that will provide results within 15 minutes.”

DNA said it is targeting to complete and produce the kit as soon as possible.

It is also looking to produce an improved version of N95 grade masks “to answer the low supply of masks due to lack of exports from other countries.” — Arjay L. Balinbin