WASHINGTON, July 31. /TASS/. US largest laboratories - LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics and BioReference - admit only slight delays with providing COVID-19 test results.
On Thursday, LabCorp spokeswoman told TASS that it "continues to be committed to doing everything it can to respond to the health crisis and is focused on reducing the time it takes for a patient to receive their result."
The lab says it conducted about 8.5 million tests since March, and that currently, about 180,000 tests are in processing.
"We have reduced the average time to deliver results to 2-3 days from specimen pickup. For hospitalized patients, the average time for results is faster," the spokeswoman said, commenting on earlier remarks made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates that most COVID-19 tests are useless because they take too long to produce results.
Quest Diagnostics and BioReference also acknowledged delays of four to six days. According to The Washington Post, in the capital, Americans have to wait for results for seven working days on average, while sometimes it takes up to three weeks. Besides, the newspaper says, many residents have to wait in line outdoors, for hours, amid temperature of about 30 degrees Celsius.
Reaction of the authorities
According to Admiral Brett Giroir, US Assistant Secretary for Health, the opinion that COVID-19 tests take too long throughout the US is unfounded. According to the official, half of all tests are conducted in laboratories of hospitals and specialized facilities, where results are usually provided within 24 hours.
However, the CNN report says that many US medics do not consider actions of the Trump Administration in regards to testing to be adequate to the complicated situation.
On Tuesday, Bill Gates said it is "insane" that COVID-19 tests take over 48 hours to produce results. The US Department of Health and Human Services refrained from commenting on his opinion.
According to Johns Hopkins University statistics, over 4.47 million cases were registered in the US, while over 151,500 people died.