As COVID-19 variants have emerged, so have questions about the effectiveness of tests for infection. While the risk of mutations significantly limiting their ability to detect the novel coronavirus is thought to be relatively low, companies that make COVID-19 tests are moving quickly to enhance and revalidate their products.
By mid-January 2021, the U.K., South Africa and Brazil had confirmed that “variants of concern” were driving massive surges in COVID-19 cases in their countries. Once alerted, other nations found these troubling strains rapidly multiplying within their populations as well. At the time, the world had reported 90 million cases, creating abundant opportunities for the coronavirus to mutate. Of those cases, the virus in just 360,000 had been sequenced – and nearly all of them from just a handful of countries.
PARIS – Europe has turned into the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, seeing more than 50% of the cases observed worldwide. In fact, whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has begun declining in China where it originated, there are 400,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, including more than 200,000 infected by SARS-CoV-2 in the 55 sovereign states in continental Europe, where they are mourning more than 18,000 deaths.
As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread, countries around the world are scrambling to understand the public health threat and identify and quarantine people who may be infected. To that end, Novacyt SA has launched a molecular test that detects only the 2019 strain of the coronavirus, reducing the chance of false diagnoses.