The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday said that it has approved the first COVID-19 self-testing kit for home use that provides results within 30 minutes.
According to a report by Reuters, the FDA gave emergency authorization to a 30-minute test kit from California-based Lucira Health.
The test works by swirling a self-collected sample nasal swab in a vial that is then placed in the test unit. In 30 minutes or less, the results can be read directly from the test unit's light-up display that shows whether a person is positive or negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Reuters.
The test is currently authorized for prescription use only. It has been approved for home testing in people 14 and older. The bulk of testing in the US continues to be done by health professionals and then processed at laboratories.
The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 56 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.34 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Thursday, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 56,178,674 and 1,348,348, respectively. The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 11,525,149 and 250,483, respectively, according to the CSSE.
India comes in second place in terms of cases at 89,58,483, while the country's death toll soared to 1,31,578. The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (5,945,849), France (2,115,717), Russia (1,975,629), Spain (1,525,341), the UK (1,434,004), Argentina (1,339,337), Italy (1,272,352), Colombia (1,218,003) and Mexico (1,015,071), the CSSE figures showed.
(Inputs from Agencies)