Intercruises, Vikand team on innovative COVID-19 testing at cruise terminals
Anne Kalosh | Apr 13, 2021
Their COVID-19 Cruise Terminal Testing Solution is an end-to-end, noninvasive system for travelers, crew and terminal staff, with the ability to detect the virus in 45 seconds.
Comprising individual breathalyzer tubes and portable scanning stations, its high throughput COVID-19 testing technology is now available to support the resumption of global cruising and the wider maritime industry. With local presence in ports around the world, Intercruises will help deliver the testing solution by providing in-terminal management and logistical support.
'We have already seen that the safe return to cruising is possible, enabled by the correct health and safety protocols, including testing. The partnership we have with Vikand and their breakthrough technology will help advance this process and the ongoing resumption of our industry,' Intercruises Managing Director Olga Piqueras said.
'Intercruises’ global presence and local teams are a critical component in this initiative, enabling us to provide testing that cruise lines, ports and terminal operators can easily implement with minimal investment,' added Damien O’Connor, EVP Vikand Testing Solutions. 'Together we offer tremendous value to the industry by delivering this crucial, emerging healthcare technology.'
Created by BioSafety Technologies and approved by the Conformitè Europëenne, the noninvasive breathalyzer technology delivers results within 45 seconds. Portable and scalable, it can be administered by non-medically trained personnel.
The breathalyzer uses terahertz (300-3,000GHz) frequencies to detect the presence of COVID-19 by identifying the bio-spectral fingerprints found in the exhaled breath aerosol of the individual.
It identifies COVID-19-free (negative) individuals while also detecting the virus in its early stages. The technology has been trialed by more than 10,000 individuals during a worldwide pilot program and validated by PCR testing.
According to the trials, results are highly accurate, equivalent to PCR sensitivity and specificity, and may be paired with recognized PCR technologies like Abbot ID Now.
The breathalyzer is the current screening process used in the Dominican Republic for flights to the US by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
Seatrade Cruise Virtual/Seatrade Cruise Review
Piqueras will be discussing the testing solution during Wednesday's Seatrade Cruise Virtual: Tech & Innovation, and more information is available in the latest edition of Seatrade Cruise Review (see 'Vaccination key but testing still critical,' an interview with Vikand Solutions CEO Peter Hult).