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Abbott claims to have a test kit that can test for Covid-19 in just 5 minutes

By Kenny Yeo - on 30 Mar 2020, 9:36am

Abbott claims to have a test kit that can test for Covid-19 in just 5 minutes

(Image source: Abbott)

According to reports, medical device and healthcare company Abbott has just developed a test kit for Covid-19 that can return results in as little as 5 minutes.

The sample will be analysed entirely by Abbott's portable ID NOW platform, meaning it does not need to be sent to a central lab for further analysis.

This cuts down waiting time and allows health authorities to quickly identify carriers, isolate them, and stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Robert B. Ford, president and chief operating officer of Abbott said in a press release:

With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots.

Like current tests, doctors will have to take a swab from a patient's nose or throat. The sample is then inserted directly into the machine to be analysed.

The machine can identify if it's positive in just 5 minutes. If the results are negative, it could take up to 13 minutes because additional tests need to be run.

The test kit has already been approved for emergency use by the U.S. FDA in its fight against Covid-19 and Abbott plans to start shipping as many as 50,000 ID NOW Covid-19 test kits a day starting this week.

The U.S. now has more cases of Covid-19 than any other country in the world. At the time of writing, the number of cases in U.S. stands at 135,738 and it seems to be increasing at an alarming rate.

Source: The Verge, U.S. FDA