The test machine has received the United States Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA).
The good news for availability of this test is that ID NOW, the hardware from Abbott that it runs on, already "holds the largest molecular point-of-care footprint in the USA", and is "widely available" across doctor's offices, urgent care clinics, emergency rooms and other medical facilities.
The COVID-19 test will run on the company's ID NOW platform, which provides rapid results in a selection of health care settings, including physicians' offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments. Ford was quoted as saying by Forbes.com. It is also used to test other viruses including Influenza A&B, Strep A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) testing.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has increased to more than 100000 on Saturday. USA is fast becoming the new epicentre of this disease overtaking Italy and China.
The United States now has more confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus, than any other country. "Continuing to supply healthcare providers with new technologies to help curb the spread of infection is a top priority for public health officials and healthcare providers", the company said in a statement.
A test from Cepheid approved last week promised results in approximately 45 minutes.
John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics, told Bloomberg that the firm plans to provide 50,000 tests a day starting April 1.
This is the company's second test to receive Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for COVID-19 detection. Other coronavirus testing methods require health workers to take samples from possible coronavirus patients to be delivered to testing labs, taking hours or even days to get results.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former FDA commissioner, called Abbott's test a "game changer".
Abbott was previously approved for an automated diagnostic test that can be used in laboratories and stated last week that 150,000 of those tests were being distributed across the country.