US okays self-testing kit for detecting Covid-19

The US gave the green light for the first Covid-19 diagnostic kit for self-testing at home, adding an additional tool to battle the pandemic as nationwide testing capabilities come under more strain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation to Lucira Health’s rapid-result All-In-One Test Kit, according to a statement from the government agency on Tuesday.

While some Covid-19 tests allow people to provide samples from home, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home in 30 minutes or less. The approval comes at a time when the country is fighting a fierce resurgence of infections.

“This new testing option is an important diagnostic advancement to address the pandemic and reduce the public burden of disease transmission,” said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn in the statement.

It could also help take some strain off testing labs that are being overwhelmed by demand. Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Tuesday that if communities could have carried out widespread testing, it could have helped slow transmission before it took off explosively.

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