South Korea Cut Red Tape For Successful COVID-19 Testing, FDA Says
May 26 (UPI) – The low volumes of bureaucratic paperwork required to bring COVID-19 tests to market may have been South Korea’s secret weapon to successfully tackle the coronavirus in its critical early stages.
The Food and Drug Administration said in a new report released on Tuesday that South Korea was prepared for a pandemic due to close partnerships already in place between the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, KDCA and the private sector.
“When COVID-19 hit, South Korea prioritized the early detection of SARS-CoV-2 through diagnostic testing. The KDCA developed its own test and made it available in late January 2020 “, when Korea reported its first known case of the novel coronavirus. , says the report.
South Korea has also subsidized the development of COVID-19 test kits, “advising private test developers that the government would absorb the financial risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests by guaranteeing the purchase of quantities minimum tests, once their use has been authorized “.
The FDA report said that the United States, on the other hand, did not encourage test development “from the start,” although “reducing risk and encouraging product development” later became a policy. fundamental for vaccines.
Centralized testing capability was also essential for the success of testing in South Korea.
According to the FDA, the KDCA had testing capability in existing labs for clinical studies. The country had faced other deadly epidemics, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015.
“As a result, test developers did not have to find their own clinical samples or viral material to validate their tests, which likely shortened the time needed to complete validation studies to support clearance requests. emergency use and increased government confidence in the accuracy of the tests. “
The United States, by comparison, was buried under more than 2,000 EUA applications, which were submitted by independent labs, the FDA said.
Coronavirus cases in South Korea have increased in recent weeks. The country reported 707 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 137,682, according to government data.