A staff member conducts nucleic acid tests at a laboratory in Wuhan.
A staff member conducts nucleic acid tests at a laboratory in Wuhan.
Xinhua

Atotal of 12 types of nucleic acid testing kits and eight types of antibody testing kits for COVID-19 have gained approval for clinical use, a health expert said on Friday.

At present, the nucleic acid testing kit and antibody testing kit are the two main types of detection kits approved by China's National Medical Products Administration for clinical use, said Feng Luzhao, a researcher with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nucleic acid testing currently remains the primary detection method for the novel coronavirus in China, Feng said.

The average detection time for the nucleic acid testing takes two to three hours with strong specificity and relatively high sensitivity, Feng said.

An antibody testing method can screen patients within 15 minutes, according to Feng. However, antibody testing cannot replace nucleic acid testing, Feng said, adding that antibody testing can; provide an auxiliary diagnosis for those negative cases detected by nucleic acid testing.

More detection kits and methods are on their way to be put into use as China continues to make progress in developing detection kits and gaining more knowledge of the novel coronavirus, added Feng.

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