One of the world’s biggest suppliers of coronavirus tests is about to rush new equipment onto the Australian market that can deliver results within three hours.
Australia, like many nations across the globe, is facing some pressure on its ability to test for coronavirus due to what health authorities say is “unprecedented” demand on laboratories.
Roche, a multinational medical device company, says it has rushed to develop a new test to support “the urgent need for patient testing during the novel coronavirus pandemic”.
Roche says results can be returned within three hours of testing. That allows for 384 tests in an eight-hour shift.
The process, known as the cobas SARS-CoV-2 test, was rushed onto the market using emergency authorisations provided by medical device regulators, including the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The new testing kits are expected to begin arriving in Australia by Wednesday. Together with an older test already in use, known as the MagNA Pure 96, Roche says this will inject 100,000 new testing kits into Australian laboratories.
“The demand for Covid-19 tests in Australia is unprecedented and our teams have been working relentlessly to meet demands,” the company said on Monday.
“Roche will be reordering both test kits frequently, based on Australian patient needs. We will continue to have both tests available in Australia, to ensure maximum coverage and patient reach.
“We are continuing to work with Australian laboratories and the federal government to ensure locations of greatest need are prioritised and people at the highest risk of Covid-19 have access to these tests.”
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