The United States has started random sampling from across the country to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 and the number of people infected from it. According to a health news portal, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official working on the pandemic response said that they are starting the test and the reports will be out very quickly.
The blood tests will check for the immunity against the novel coronavirus based on serological surveys which will assess the presence of antibodies that fight the virus. The test will look for the antibodies in the blood to determine whether the person was infected from coronavirus and recovered without showing any symptoms.
The CDC official reportedly said that the federal health agency will conduct three surveys and in the first survey, the blood samples will be collected from undiagnosed people from some of the identified virus hotspots. The second and third will be a national survey from different parts of the country and on health workers respectively.
The announcement came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency authorisation for the first serological test by Cellex, a North Carolina-based company. The Cellex qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test is a lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay which can detect antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Addressing a press briefing at the White House, US President Donald Trump said that Abbott Laboratories has produced 1,200 brand-new rapid point-of-care testing kits which will be available by April 7. The US-based laboratory received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for molecular point-of-care test to detect COVID-19.
According to the latest report, over 1.3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with nearly 75,000 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, and Spain are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with over 50 per cent of death toll reported from these three countries alone.
(Image Credit: AP)