The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first rapid coronavirus diagnostic test that takes only 45 minutes to detect the COVID-19, said the test's developer from California-based diagnostic company Cepheid, on Saturday.
In a statement, the company said that it received authorization from the FDA to emergency use. It will primarily be used in hospitals and emergency rooms. The shipping to hospitals would begin next week, the company statement said, as reported by Reuters
The diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been designed to operate on any of the automated GeneXpert Systems globally, the company said, which have more than 23,000 such systems.
Comes at a necessary time
The current process of testing takes the samples to a centralized lab, taking days to get results, the new method is expected to reduce this burden taking merely 45 minutes for a test. This comes in a time when experts criticized US that it is not testing more people as required on top of all these United States climbed to more than 26,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with less than 180 recoveries as of today. Global confirmed cases has already gone over 300,000.
No special training is required to make the testing and can be run 24/7, according to Cepheid President Warren Kocmond. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hann said that it marks an important step in expanding the availability of testing and rapid results.
"Point-of-care testing means that results are delivered to patients in the patient care settings, like hospitals, urgent care centres and emergency rooms, instead of samples being sent to a laboratory. With today''s authorisation, there is now an option for testing at the point-of-care, which enables patient access to more immediate results," he said in a statement.
However, the cost of this test, is not known. The US FDA has been trying to expand its testing capacity while the WHO Director-General called for all the nations to 'test test and test' with 'order and discipline' in the market for health equipment needed to fight the outbreak.