Trump Announces 5 Minute Rapid-Result Coronavirus Test To Be Distributed This Week
President Donald Trump said on Sunday the Food and Drug Administration approved a new rapid test kit for the novel coronavirus which will deliver results in five minutes.
“On Friday, the FDA authorized a new test developed by Abbott Labs that delivers lightning fast results in as little as five minutes,” Trump said during a press conference. “That’s a whole new ballgame. I want to thank Abbott Labs for the incredible work they’ve done. They’ve been working around the clock.”
Trump continued, “Normally, this approval process from the FDA would take 10 months and even longer, but we did it in four weeks. Abbott has stated that they will begin delivering 50,000 tests each day, starting this week.”
The test will be used on the company’s “ID NOW” platform, which is already used for other rapid-result tests for influenza and strep throat. The test will detect fragments of the coronavirus genome in swabbed samples of a person’s throat or nose.
It can deliver positive results in as little as five minutes, and negative results within 13 minutes — in stark contrast to the existing testing systems in which patients may wait up to a week for their results.
Abbott says it will beginning shipping test kits to health care providers next week, and that it will be able to deliver 50,000 tests per day by April 1.
The U.S. has struggled with its testing capacity, likely leaving thousands of cases undiagnosed. South Korea has tested about 700 people out of 100,000 and Italy has tested about 600 per 100,000. In the U.S., however, the per capita rate is less than 200 tests per 100,000.