The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, March 27, approved a CCP Virus (Wuhan coronavirus) test that can provide results in less than 15 minutes amid the spike of cases in the United States.
The test’s makers, Abbott, said it plans to start delivering 50,000 tests per day starting next week. The tests will be run on a point-of-care ID NOW platform, a portable platform that weighs less than 7 pounds and can be deployed “where testing is needed most.” Abbott said it expects to increase production up to about 5 million tests per month.
This is GAME CHANGER. Abbott to market, starting next week, a fast point-of-care #coronavirus test, delivering positive results in 5min and negative results in 13min. Will deliver 50K tests/day to start. Kudos to Abbott and FDA’s Jeff Shuren and team at CDRH who are in the fight.
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 28, 2020
The approval came as the country is fighting the spread of the virus. The number of confirmed cases in the United States on Thursday surpassed the official count in China, where the virus outbreak began, and Italy. As of Friday evening, the United States has at least 101,242 known cases and 1,588 deaths. New York and Washington are the hardest hit states as a new wave of the CCP Virus is emerging in other states. Officials in Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans said they are facing a shortage of medical resources, reported CNN.
President Donald Trump on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act, to compel General Motors to produce more ventilators to combat the pandemic. He also signed the historic $2 trillion economic relief package aimed at helping American workers and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The USNS Mercy, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship, arrived Friday at the Port of Los Angeles for relocating shore-based patients undergoing treatments that are not CCP-Virus-related. A second Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort is expected to reach the New York area on Monday for the same purpose.