Fast FDA OK — For Roche’s COVID-19 Diagnostic Assay. As Ever, The Trick Will Be… Logistics.
March 13, 2020

To be certain, this is. . . good news.

But as is ever true in truly far-flung, global health emergencies — getting these kit-supplies delivered, in vast bulk — essentailly immediately. . . and then ferried [also immediately] back to one of the latest-model machines [to make the result actionble, from a clinical perspective]. . . that is a feat of logistical wizardry.
Here’s the bit:

. . . .The first high-speed coronavirus test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Roche Holding today. The Swiss medical giant’s new test works in its high-volume cobas 6800/8800 systems—widely used diagnostic machines that will be able to process up to 4,000 of the Covid-19 tests per day. That’s 10 times faster than currently used tests.

There are more than 800 of the automated Roche systems around the world, the company has said, including about 110 in the U.S. More have been placed in recent weeks. . . .

The relatively paltry number of machines [800] will be a serious bottleneck.

And as ever, Trump is days late — and weak, with his Friday declaration. Not surprising — just frustrating. Onward.