The health ministry is considering introducing an antigen test to more quickly screen for the new coronavirus amid a rise in the number of people who need testing, government sources said Wednesday.

The ministry may approve an antigen test kit in May that uses mucus taken from nose. But as the new test is less precise than the existing polymerase chain reaction test, the dominant testing method which takes hours before results come out, officials will study under what circumstances to use it, they said.

The antigen test detects protein unique to the virus and does not need to be conducted at labs like the PCR test, which involves amplifying small amounts of DNA sequences of the virus, a process that conventionally requires four to six hours to produce a result.