The US Food and Drug Administration has permitted a coronavirus test that can provide a COVID-19 diagnosis in 45 minutes.
The test, created by California-based Cepheid, got emergency clearance on Saturday, eight days since the agency gave fast-track endorsement for a test by Roche, which can identify the novel coronavirus in three hours.
Medical-equipment titan Thermo Fisher also has a test on the market.
The permit is part of an intensive effort to make up for lost time after postponements, a flawed test, and then a worldwide shortage of the crucial chemicals needed to develop a new test meant the US was testing its citizens at a far relaxed rate than other countries.
States are now also applying drive-through tests, which have been successful in other countries, including South Korea.
The Cepheid test will be forwarded next week – first to hospitals, but the FDA’s emergency clearance means it can be utilized in all care settings.
Significantly, providers will not need training to manage the test, which is treated on one of Cepheid’s GeneXpert testing system, out of which there are 23,000 globally and 5,000 in the US.
“A correct test delivered close to the patient can be transformative – and help lessen the burden that the emergence of the 2019-nCoV outbreak has put on healthcare services that need to appropriately allocate their respiratory isolation resources,” David Persing, chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid, said in a statement.