The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday granted Abbott Laboratories approval to sell a test for the novel coronavirus, as more firms start producing much-needed diagnostics for the pathogen that has ignited a global pandemic.
The tests will help meet a significant U.S. shortfall of diagnostic capabilities that has severely limited the nation’s ability to track the spread of COVID-19.
The rise in U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus, an extremely contagious and sometimes deadly respiratory sickness, has concerned health officers and spurred calls from lawmakers for action to expand the testing capability to curb its spread. Governors across the nation have been begging for more test kits.
Abbott stated it plans to immediately distribute nearly 150,000 checks to clients in the U.S. and can proceed to increase manufacturing to hit an objective of offering as much as 1 million tests a week.
The FDA has been speeding to approve tests for the coronavirus on an emergency basis and has approved those built by Roche Holding and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
VP Mike Pence, who’s heading the White House’s coronavirus task force, said on March 4 that around 1.5 million tests would be available by the end of that week, while Prez Trump stated the same week that “anybody who wants a test, will get a test.”