The ongoing spread of the new coronavirus remains an important issue in several U.S. states, and additional testing is needed so officials can detect new infections as quickly as possible,media BGR reported. Asymptomatic carriers are particularly concerned because they may unknowingly spread COVID-19, especially if they do not wear masks and do not maintain a social distance. The U.S. may rely on pooled tests to increase tests, speed up tests and potentially save resources while finding asymptomatic infections, said Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. infectious disease expert.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly approved a key new crown test detailed by Fortch. It’s called Pool Testing and is designed to help officials process tests faster to determine the scope of infection and detect asymptomatic infections, while saving resources and speeding up results.
With set testing, the lab will be able to detect multiple people at the same time. The FDA has just approved tests from Quest Diagnostics, which can use up to four samples. If the PCR test results are positive, all four will be tested separately to see how many of them are infected. If the result is negative, all four can be told that they are not infected with COVID-19.
Collection detection saves detection times and reduces the time it takes to wait for results. In recent weeks, waiting times have increased significantly due to increased testing requirements in some states, with some waiting more than a week to get a response. “The EUA of this sample pool is an important step to get more COVID-19 tests faster for more Americans, while preserving test ingress,” FDA Director Dr. Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. “As infection rates decline, sample pooling becomes particularly important, and we start testing a larger percentage of the population.”
This strategy can be used more effectively in areas where the curve flattens or where the number of cases has declined, rather than where the virus is proliferating. The FDA also explained that there may be concerns that combining samples can make it more difficult to test positive, but “Quest’s validation data indicate that its testcorrected all the collection samples containing the positive samples.”
Quest said in its announcement that the clinical data provided by Quest to the FDA showed that “none of the 3,091 total specimens from populations with a prevalence rate of 1 to 10 percent would have been incorrectly negative if they had been pooled.” The company will begin using assembly tests at laboratories in Chantilly, Virginia, and Marlborough, Mass., next weekend, and other labs will follow suit.
Quest said last week that it now conducts 125,000 molecular tests a day, nearly double the number eight weeks ago, Gizmodo reported. By the end of July, the number of tests will increase to 150,000 a day. Collection testing can also help save test kits and relieve supply pressure in certain areas. Quest said its suppliers continued to respond to their demand for additional capacity, but “their capacity is limited in the face of a surge in demand in the Us and globally.”
By the time of writing, the number of newly confirmed cases worldwide had exceeded 14.64 million and more than 608,000 deaths had been reported. Among them, the number of newly confirmed cases in the United States has exceeded 3.81 million, and the number of deaths exceeds 140,000.