PARIS (Reuters) – A French consortium announced on Monday the launch of the production phase for a saliva-based screening test to detect the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The consortium said the test would be performed by a healthcare professional and involves collecting less than 1 millilitre of saliva from a patient. The sample is then deposited in two tubes heated to 65C, and a subsequent reading screens the tested patients for the presence of the virus.

The consortium – comprised of French companies Vogo, SKILLCELL and the CNRS SYS2DIAG laboratory – hoped its ‘EasyCov’ product would enter the French market from mid-June onwards.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kim Coghill)