FDA approves South Korean virus tests for use in Maryland

BALTIMORE (AP) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has formally approved the use of 500,000 coronavirus tests acquired by the state of Maryland from a South Korean company.

The FDA's chief scientist gave emergency approval to South Korean company LabGenomics Co in a letter Wednesday, the Baltimore Sun reported.

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Governor Larry Hogan announced on April 20 that the state made the $ 9 million purchase in an effort to increase its testing capacity. Adequate testing is a foundation on the road to recovery for global pandemic companies and reopening, he said.

But in the nearly two weeks since Hogan's announcement, some local officials, nursing homes and others seeking tests have questioned when they will receive them, The Sun said. on demand, such as swabs and lab capacity.

Spokesman Mike Ricci said Thursday that Maryland was increasing its supply of these materials. He said the state should receive about 34,000 swabs from a national stockpile and that it has an "adequate supply" of reagent, a mixture used for chemical analyzes in tests.

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He added that LabGenomics received preliminary approval to use the tests last week and that some have already been deployed at "high priority points", including nursing homes, drive-thru units and poultry facilities in Salisbury.

On Wednesday, Hogan ordered universal testing for all residents and employees of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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