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WHO reports China making 1.6M COVID-19 diagnostic kits per week, describes therapy and vaccine R&D priorities

WHO: China makes and deploys 1.6 million COVID-19 tests/week; the U.S. is just starting to ramp up capacity

A WHO report on a Feb. 16-24 mission to China to assess the COVID-19 outbreak summarizes the situation on the ground, highlights countermeasure R&D initiatives, challenges and needs, and identifies critical knowledge gaps.

What stands out is the dramatic speed with which China has developed and deployed diagnostic tests -- and the contrast with the U.S.

Manufacturers in China “have the capacity to produce and distribute as many as 1,650,000 tests/week,” the WHO reported.

Manufacturing capacity in the U.S. is about 3,150 tests per week, according to Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. U.S. capacity is set to expand in the coming weeks as FDA plans to authorize labs to conduct testing.

The first RT-PCR assays for COVID-19 were distributed to

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