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Coronavirus update: New test that gives results in 15 minutes due to arrive soon, expert says

A rapid-diagnostic test for Australia COVID-19 has been approved for use in Australia and could be in use within a week, according to one expert.
It comes as pubs and clubs have closed in Australia News, nearly $100 billion has been wiped off Australian shares, and a cruise ship with 250 ill passengers is heading for Perth.
This story is being updated regularly throughout the day. You can also stay informed with the latest episode of the Coronacast podcast.


Strict new rules come into effect in Australia

Last night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced new restrictions on public venues that he expected would be in place for "at least six months".
Since midday today, the following businesses have been closed to limit the spread of coronavirus:
  • Pubs
  • Clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Casinos
  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor places of worship
  • Gyms
  • Indoor sporting venues

Rapid-diagnostic test to give results within 15 minutes

A rapid-diagnostic test for COVID-19 has been approved for use in Australia and could be in use within a week or so, according to a past president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA] has approved the new antibody test by company MD Solutions, which gives results within 15 minutes. Australia Political News

There are some pros and cons.
The test detects antibodies produced by the immune system, not the virus itself. This means patients who have been recently infected but have not yet mounted an immune response will not return a positive result.

It is also less sensitive, meaning it will give a negative result to some patients who have the disease.

But it also gives a positive result to people who have had the disease in the past, meaning it can show who might have some immunity and be at a lower risk of contracting the virus again. Australia Business News
"This is one of the most important things in the crisis — getting testing right," said Nicholas Talley, who edits the Medical Journal of Australia, and a former president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
The test had been approved by the FDA in the United States before being fast-tracked in Australia, Greg Dore from the Kirby Institute at St Vincent's hospital said.
He said ordinarily the approval of a new technology by Australia's TGA after a decision by the FDA could take months, but the expedited process demonstrated authorities were responding to the crisis. Australia Distribution Service

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