Abbott Labs on Thursday officially joined the global war against the coronavirus pandemic, jumping into the proverbial ring with other biotech and biomedical companies that have received emergency Food and Drug Administration approval to mass-produce coronavirus test kits.
The company announced that it has received emergency FDA approval to begin mass-producing and distributing its molecular test for Covid-19. Abbott said it was immediately shipping 150,000 tests to customers in the United States and will continue to ramp up production to hit a goal of providing up to 1 million tests per week.
"A global challenge like coronavirus requires the commitment and cooperation of everyone who has the ability to help address it," CEO Miles White said in a statement.
The rapid escalation in U.S. cases of Covid-19 has concerned health officials and spurred calls from lawmakers for action to expand testing capacity to determine who is or isn't carrying the disease.
Researchers initially believed the virus only spread among symptomatic people, but more recently have concluded that asymptomatic individuals may be spreading the disease without even knowing it. Governors around the country have been begging for more test kits.
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