In December 2019, a cluster of atypical pneumonia patients epidemiologically linked to a wholesale market in Wuhan, China was detected. A novel betacoronavirus named as 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified in some of these patients. Considerable attention has been given to this virus, that according to the World Health Organization as of this recording at the end of January 2020, has so far thought to have sickened over 6,000 people and is responsible for at least 132 deaths. Because of the potential for pandemic spread, there is a great need for a rapid and accurate test for the detection of the virus. We are fortunate to have with us today Dr. Leo Poon from the School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He and his colleagues described a new molecular diagnostic assay that allows the detection and quantification of this new coronavirus.