The outbreak of COVID-19 was an international tremendous shock. There is not a single country where one cannot see the symptoms of the virus. Although, the virus was first noted in Wuhan, China. Eventually, the notorious coronavirus was seen influencing the whole population in a matter of months. Soon, the test for Covid-19 variants evolved and was being conducted around the world.
During the first half, people were getting tested for covid by the health care helpers, that were using the nasal swab PCR test and the throat PCR swab test method. Although these tests are reliable and accurate for diagnostic purposes, the tests were conducted only in hospital settings and the results of these tests took a minimum of 3 days.
There were other tests that were carried out as well. These tests included the analysis of other specimens. However, the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in the era of the latest technological advancements. As a result of which, there were further many tests developed for easy diagnosis.
Evolution of COVID-19 testing
In the long run, the residents of this globe experienced several variants of COVID-19. These variants were a threat to every individual’s health such as the infamous Delta variant and Omicron variant. The Delta variant hit the population in the late 2020s while Omicron’s first case was detected on November 24, 2021, in South Africa. By the time Omicron was discovered, the vaccines for Coronavirus were already available to the population.
Furthermore, many more diagnostic tests were also introduced. The tests evolved from only hospital settings to point-of-care platforms. These assist in collecting the specimen in non-hospital settings.
Another major test that was introduced was the rapid COVID test kid. This rapid antigen test was prominent and gained global acceptance by January 2022.
This test provided a number of benefits for the people.
- The test is carried out beyond the hospital laboratory limits.
- The results obtained will be in a matter of minutes.
Global outbreak and rising demand for the rapid test for COVID-19 variants
People are aiming to fill up their drawers with covid rapid tests. The stocks of rapid tests are drained throughout the world. It is not just the residences of the earth facing the scarcity of rapid tests. Hospitals and clinics are in the midst of crisis. They are facing huge demand for the rapid test for Covid-19 variants from the population and there is nothing that can be done about it at the time.
Hospitals, pharmacies, and even online stores are running low on rapid test stocks, or becoming, at long last, excessively high priced. There is not just one reason for the insufficiency of the rapid tests. For instance, numerous citizens of the United States are unable to purchase rapid tests. This is mostly due to low stocks, as the markets always seem to be out of stock. And often because the citizens are not able to buy them in quantities due to the price. Reportedly, the price is approximately $25 for a packet of two while in other areas, the supply of rapid tests is a bigger issue.
What is the reason behind not manufacturing enough tests for the population? Bob Kocher reportedly said that the reason behind the shortage of supply was the failure to foresee the public demand for the product. It was reported that Abbott also had shut down its two production lines and closed its manufacturing plant.
Besides this, many people are blaming the government, (FDA to be exact) for its slow approval of the tests earlier in the pandemic. Considering all reasons mentioned, it can be said that the demands for the rapid tests were very high as compared to the production or supply of the tests, as a result of which the population faced such shortage of the product causing many problems for them.