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U.S. expedites test kit verification to push return to normal

U.S. expedites test kit verification to push return to normal

Posted April. 21, 2020 07:42,   

Updated April. 21, 2020 07:42


The United States has permitted the sales of unverified antibody testing kits for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), ramping up the pressure to normalize the economy as early as possible. Trump’s blind pursuit of expanded coverage or antibody testing is causing grave concern amid the unabated public anxieties over the kits’ credibility and another onset of COVID-19. Having come under fire for its sluggish response to the virus outbreak, the U.S. government is being flailed for rough-and-ready approval for coronavirus test kits.

Antibody testing combined with the molecular coronavirus test is designed to check if the patient has developed immunity for COVID-19 rather than verifying the infection in and of itself. The testing typically serves as a barometer to define the timing and the phase of economic normalization after the COVID-19 is defused. Incorrect test results can make it difficult to identify who has developed immunity and if there is any risk of relapse.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the sales of over 90 kits for a quick antibody testing, according to The Washington Post. Only four have been officially authorized by the FDA while the rest merely had their manufacturers run a self-test and notify the FDA.

Among others, test kits that puncture the fingertips for antibody testing, which is priced 60 to 115 U.S. dollars for each, is inviting concerns. In fact, there have been a number of false reports of antibody formation on these test kits.

The members of the Major League Baseball Secretariat and its athletes are also planning a test. Goldman Sachs, Twitter, and the National Basketball Association are also considering the introduction of antibody testing. “If I knew that I had antibody, I would feel braver outside,” said an executive at a California-based advertisement company who recently received the test.

Yong Park parky@donga.com