A new coronavirus testing device that can produce a result in five minutes will soon be available throughout the US, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn announced Monday. The…
A new coronavirus testing device that can produce a result in five minutes will soon be available throughout the US, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn announced Monday.
The test will be available in doctors’ clinics, emergency rooms and drive-through sites within the next month as officials try to rapidly overcome a lack of readily-available tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just like tests for flu or strep where you go to the doctor’s office so you can get a test done, you can get an answer within minutes of having this test done,” Hahn said during President Trump’s coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden.
The device produced by Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories would normally take 12 months to come to market but with support from the FDA and Trump administration, had been approved in just weeks, Hahn said.
“The numbers have been incredible on testing but in the days ahead we’re going to go even faster,” Trump told reporters.
The president also announced a separate FDA breakthrough which would allow health care workers to sterilize N95 respiratory masks that are in critically short supply.
The machines from Ohio company Battelle can disinfect 120,000 masks each day.
Trump directed the FDA to give Battelle the green light after Ohio Gov. Mark DeWine called Trump to tell him they were “having a hard time getting approval,” the president told reporters.
“I’ve been asking, ‘Why are we throwing these masks away?’ ” Trump said.
Nurses and doctors have been crying out for more N95 masks and fear they are risking their lives to treat infected patients without the proper protective equipment.