Since the beginning of the New Year 2020, countries around the world are stumbling due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Better approaches of diagnostics and medical facilities have helped some countries recover early. Previous exposures to epidemics have imparted lessons to handle such a pandemic with a high level of preparedness. The World Health Organization (WHO) and national health authorities are taking great efforts via efficient and impactful interventions to contain the virus. Diagnostic tests such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction are increasingly being used to confirm the diagnosis because testing biological samples for the presence of the virus is the definitive method to identify the disease, analyze the risk for transmission, and determine whether someone has been cured or not. It is also important to screen asymptomatic individuals to get the exact overview of the virus spread. Antibody detection plays a pivotal role in diagnosis; however, using it at the wrong time yields negative results and conveys dissenting opinion about the tests. Although the scaling up of testing has been significant, overall testing has been limited by the availability of diagnostics. Rapid diagnoses and discontinuation of transmission are keys to ending this pandemic. Diagnostics manufacturers are developing test kits and distributing them to different countries. Therefore, more than 500 commercial test kits for molecular- and immunoassays, most with Emergency Use Authorization, are now becoming available in the market. In this review, we discuss the importance of diagnostics, approaches of different countries toward the epidemic, global testing situation, and lessons to countries at the start of the epidemic for better preparedness.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Sensitivity, Specificity, RT-PCR, Diagnosis
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