U.S. Short On Coronavirus Testing, At Least For Now

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(FreedomJournal.com) – During the spread of coronavirus in the United States, one thing has become abundantly clear early on — we don’t have enough testing available.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration acted swiftly to try to solve that problem.

The FDA gave Switzerland-based healthcare company Roche Holding AG “emergency use authorization” to provide a diagnostic test that has the ability to test people faster than any other test currently available in America. This new test can run on two model’s of the company’s systems, one of which can do 1,440 tests each day and one of which can do 4,128.

Thomas Schinecker, the head of the diagnostic’s unit at Roche Holding AG, told Bloomberg News:

“We are increasing the speed definitely by a factor of 10. We definitely extended the capacity of the testing significantly throughout the U.S.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, this will mark just the third diagnostic that has received emergency approval through the FDA. The other diagnostic tests that received this approval were created by the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, the FDA has given its approval for hundreds of health-care systems across the countries to develop tests in their labs.

To this point, the CDC has taken a lot of flack for the lack of tests for the coronavirus that are available to people in the United States.

On Thursday, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee said:

“We have a serious deficiency in being prepared for testing. South Korea, for example, is doing a better job. We not only need a better system for later. We need a better system for now, and we’re going to focus on that as rapidly as we can.”

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in America, the United States has only been able to test roughly 5,000 people total. South Korea, meanwhile, has been able to test about 15,000 people every day. That’s a large discrepancy and one that has embarrassed a lot of people in both politics and health care here.

The lack of testing is a huge concern for a number of reasons. First and foremost, many pundits believe that the presence of coronavirus in the United States could already be significantly higher than is being reported. That’s because they believe there could be hundreds if not thousands of undiagnosed cases, only because there aren’t enough tests to go around.

The more undiagnosed cases there are, the greater risk there is to people who are infected, especially those who are most susceptible to succumbing to the coronavirus, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

In addition, undiagnosed cases could also easily result in the virus being spread at a higher rate. If people have it but don’t know about it, they are unlikely to take extra steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as self-quarantining themselves to limit contact with other people.