Developed by a local biotech company, a testing kit that is able to screen individuals for both the novel coronavirus and the influenza virus at once was granted market approval by the National Medical Products Administration.
The nucleic acid testing kit by 3DMed Diagnostics, a Shanghai-based medical testing solutions provider, is the first of its kind in the country to function based on fluorescence quantitative PCR platform, the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said on Aug 19 following the product's market approval on Aug 16.
Experts explained patients suffering from novel coronavirus pneumonia and influenza may show similar clinical symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough and fatigue, and even their lung CT imaging may look similar.
Xiong Lei, founder and chairman of 3DMed Diagnostics, said the testing kit may play an even bigger role in autumn and winter when respiratory diseases become more common.
"The availability of such a joint testing kit will help doctors determine why a patient is running a fever and choose the corresponding medical treatment plan as soon as possible," a press release from the company read.
"It'll also help doctors and medical institutions respond swiftly to avoid possible COVID-19 spread," it continued.
The testing kit is sensitive to all COVID-19 virus' variants so far, including the Delta strain, according to the company.