Iran claims device can 'diagnose coronavirus in five seconds'
The Iranian official agency, IRNA, quoted IRGC's commander saying that the "achievement" is "unique" and has been developed by IRGC's notorious paramilitary force, the Basij.
IRGC Major-General Hossein Salami claimed that the Iranian creation could detect the virus on contaminated surfaces - as well as in people - through a "magnetic field", according to the news agency.
Critics have been quick to jump on the group's claims of its "revolutionary" discovery.
The "unveiling ceremony" of the invention - broadcast live on television - was nothing short of a farcical display, critics said, who accused the IRGC of deliberately spreading misinformation.
Salami has additionally claimed that patients will not need to undergo "blood tests," as the device would work remotely over a 100-metre distance.
Based on preliminary tests conducted in several hospitals, the machine has proved 80 percent effective in detections at the given range, the army commander said.
Read also: Why sanctions on Iran should be lifted now
"I love them claiming to [demonstrate] something with 100-meter range while wearing masks because they're worried about things in a 2-meter range," a sceptical Twitter user opined.
Others called out the national agency for "spreading fake news"."#Iran the wonderland!" another person wrote.
Iran has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East, recording 76,389 infections and a total of 4,777 coronavirus-related deaths as of Wednesday.
There are currently two tests being used globally to detect Covid-19 – polymerise chain reaction (PCR) and antibody testing.
The PCR – producing 80 to 85 percent accurate results in around 45 minutes – is used to test for active coronavirus infections, while anti-body tests run a blood sample to check for antibodies created post-infection.
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