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Japan running into difficulty reducing turnaround time for PCR tests 

  • August 6, 2020
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei reported that many Japanese labs are apparently falling behind in processing and delivering the results of PCR diagnostic tests on COVID-19, noting that it usually takes more than 72 hours to obtain results. The testing is apparently unable to keep up with the spread of infection, as a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases is putting strain on the testing system. The daily pointed out persistent bottlenecks in the testing process, such as the time-consuming delivery of collected tissue samples from hospitals to labs and the prevalence at the labs of machines that cannot process samples quickly, underscoring that asymptomatic carriers may spread the virus widely if it takes too long to get results.   

 

The daily added that the use of antigen tests, which can produce results more quickly,  remains limited because the method is not as accurate as PCR testing and the fees paid by the government for their use are relatively low.    

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