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By Saradha | May 11, 2020 01:41 PM

U.S. approval of a new antigen test that would enable rapid screening, is being seen as a breakthrough idea. The former Head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claimed that it “is a real game-changer.”

America’s new COVID19 Antigen gains Spotlight as “Gamechanger”

Emergency use authorization was issued for a COVID19 antigen test for the first time by the FDA. It was granted to San Diego- based Quidel Corp. On Friday.

It is also coming at a time when states and local governments are lifting the lockdown and reopening the nation. Health Experts argue that rigorous testing is essential to control new outbreaks.

Reportedly, each test will cost around $5 and the results of the test will be available within minutes. 

“It’s a very rapid test that could be used in a doctor’s office, Doctors now have about 40,000 of these Sophia machines already installed in their offices where they are used to test for strep throat and flu,” says former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’.

Although test results would be available within minutes, the FDA warns that they are not foolproof. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and FDA note that there is a higher chance of false negatives in this test.

As per the Print’s report, “the newly-approved test is about 85% sensitive, said Gottlieb. In other cases, doctors who suspect a patient may have Covid-19 would order one of the PCR-based tests, which take about 24 hours to deliver results.”

The FDA awaits more antigen tests to authorized for screening people for COVID19 so that they could prepare and provide a template to guide future approvals.

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