Quest Diagnostics to launch coronavirus test service

New service would employ respiratory specimens collected from appropriate health care settings

March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. lab operator Quest Diagnostics Inc said on Thursday it was launching a test service for coronavirus and can start testing from next week.

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On Wednesday, the Trump administration met with private lab test developers to discuss increasing the availability of diagnostics.

The company said test services will be provided as a laboratory developed test, pending review by the FDA under emergency-use authorization.

The FDA said last week it would allow some laboratories to immediately use the tests they have developed and validated, while they await FDA's emergency-use authorization, to achieve more rapid testing capacity for the coronavirus in the country.

Quest said the new service would employ respiratory specimens collected from appropriate health care settings, such as hospitals and physicians' offices, as the company does not collect specimens of suspected cases.

Separately, Co-diagnostics Inc said it was seeing a surge in demand for its coronavirus test kits after the policy change from the U.S. FDA.

(Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)