The first rapid diagnostic test that could detect COVID-19 in around 45 minutes got a nod of authorization from US Food and Drug Administration, Friday.
According to a statement from the manufacturer and California-based company Cepheid the shipment of the tests will begin next week.
Chief medical and technology officer of Cepheid Dr. David Persing, MD, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of real-time evaluation of patients for admission to healthcare facilities due to the increasing number of demands for hospital services and clinicians having an on-demand diagnostic test.
In addition, Persing pointed out the transformative effect of delivering an accurate test close to the patient to help alleviate the pressure on healthcare facilities as they can properly allocate their respiratory isolation resources.
An answer to the plea of the healthcare community
The announcement of the more efficient mode of testing answered the medical community's quest for quicker results in battling coronavirus, after weeks of battling the virus amid the scarcity of resources.
Having a turnaround time of 24 hours to four days for the results of the tests, the previous testing methods were highly deficient and unacceptable for Dr. Rod Hochman, CEO Providence St. Joseph Health, an organization of 51 hospitals and about 1,000 clinics shared last week.
Moreover, the dean of the Nation School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine set Wuhan, China as an example that if cases of the disease are not identified quickly and community spread continues unchecked, it could soon overwhelm the nation's medical system.
Number of cases shot up
During a Saturday news briefing on coronavirus response, Vice President Mike Pence announced that at least 195, 000 Americans were already tested wherein 22,000 of them tested positive and about half of the result is in New York.
With the results skyrocketing more than 22,000, county hospitals and health care laboratory results around the country are not yet included in the data which means the numbers can balloon anytime if the data will be updated.
In response to this, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo already addressed the state and said that the state and federal government are already working together to help contain the outbreak.
Who should be first in line for testing?
With the increase in number of tests, officials made clear as to what instances people should seek them.
Emphasizing of using discretion before seeking a coronavirus test, the officials advised them to be administered to symptomatic people and not those who do not exhibit signs as they could be infected with the disease.
Reminding the Americans, Pence stressed that if you don't have symptoms, don't do a test for it is another way of helping the nation to preserve the resources that the health care workers need in administering and supporting those who are dealing with coronavirus and other illnesses.
Hesitant to be tested before for it is not necessary as he mentioned that given his position and after an office staff of him tested positive this week, he and wife Karen were tested for COVID-19.