An antibody that can instantly identify and neutralize a coronavirus has been discovered by a team of researchers. Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato announced the approval of the antigen last May 12 at a news conference. The antigens recognize a protein’s presence and are commonly used for influenza detection. The individuals who have undergone the test would be covered by the national health insurance program.

The antigen will be distributed to the sectors of local public health centers for those who wanted to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for a coronavirus. A confirmed coronavirus infection should be considered if an individual resulted positive in an antigen test. However, if an individual tested negative in the antigen test, they are required to take the PCR test to confirm if they are infected. Health care professionals and other staff at medical facilities and its confirmed infected patients from the care facilities for the elderly will also be tested with the antigen to prevent the spread of infection.