POST Online Media Lite Edition


NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (5.6.2021, 11:21am CEST, WHO):   U.S. 44,834    India 412,262    Brazil 77,359    France 23,116    Turkey 28,997    Russia 7,975    The United Kingdom 1,946    Italy 9,113    Spain 2,431    Germany 18,034    Argentina 26,238    Columbia 14,551    Poland 3,899    Iran 15,872    Mexico 3,064    Ukraine 2,546    Peru 4,562    Indonesia 5,285    Czechia 2,412    South Africa 1,187    The Netherlands 7,830    Canada 6,708    Chile 3,885    Iraq 5,813    Philippines 5,685    Sweden 3,058    Pakistan 4,113    Hungary 1,130    Bangladesh 1,742    Jordan 1,220    Serbia 1,304    Austria 1,297    Japan 3,763    Lebanon 1,012    United Arab Emirates 1,954    Malaysia 3,744    Saudi Arabia 1,016    Ecuador 1,806    Nepal 8,605    Greece 1,368    Croatia 2,494    Azerbaijan 1,381    Georgia 2,171    Tunisia 1,448    Bolivia 1,588    Paraguay 2,214    Kuwait 1,451    Costa Rica 1,304    Lithuania 1,249    Egypt 1,102    Guatemala 1,194    Honduras 1,358    Uruguay 2,826    Bahrain 1,450    Sri Lanka 1,939    Cuba 1,010    Thailand 1,911    Mongolia 1,128    Réunion 1,070    China 18    Singapore 16    New Zealand 4    Australia 13    South Korea 574   

U.S. sluggish in testing Wuhan coronavirus, says Science

Christian Fernsby |
The United States bungled its coronavirus testing as it has been slow in an attempt to develop reliable diagnostic tests and use them widely, the journal Science reported.

Article continues below

Topics: U.S.    WUHAN    CORONAVIRUS   

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done only 459 tests by the end of February, according to the journal.

It was partially because the CDC initially set strict criteria for novel coronavirus testing, which limited the availability to people who had returned from an affected country or had been known to be in contact with someone with the virus. After it changed the criteria by the end of February, the confirmed cases in the country kept increasing.

In addition, part of CDC's testing kits went awry. Although it developed the RT-PCR tools in early February, it turned out that some of them contained a faulty reagent, thus producing inconclusive results and further slowing down the testing efforts of local health departments.

"There have been blunders, and there could be an underlying catastrophe that we don't know about," said epidemiologist Michael Mina, who helps run a microbiology testing lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Labs like Mina's were not allowed to test novel coronavirus without approval until U.S. Food and Drug Administration loosened the limits on Feb. 29.

When the United States declared the outbreak a public health emergency on Jan. 31, a bureaucratic process kicked in that requires FDA's "emergency use approval" for any tests, according to Science.

"The declaration of a public health emergency did exactly what it shouldn't have. It limited the diagnostic capacity of this country," Mina says. "It's insane."

"If we had the ability to test earlier, I'm sure we would have identified patients earlier," said Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County in Washington State.

Washington state announced on Monday four more people died from the coronavirus, bringing the number of deaths in the country to six, all in Washington.

Over 100 Wuhan coronavirus cases have been confirmed so far in the United States.

What to read next

CDC raises Wuhan coronavirus travel alert, Hebei confirms first death outside epicentre
2019-nCoV, extremely dangerous type of coronavirus that spreads fast
Three drugs fairly effective on Wuhan coronavirus on cellular level