Senegal is reportedly turning coronavirus tests around 'within 4 hours' while Americans might wait a week

If you're going to catch coronavirus — as experts believe most of us are — you might as well catch it in Senegal. While delays and limited test kits have left sick Americans in the dark about their COVID-19 status, sometimes for a week or more, the West African nation is testing people and getting results back within as little as four hours, The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reports.

Part of that is thanks to the fact that many African countries preemptively prepared for the outbreak by setting up testing capabilities as long ago as early February, Quartz reports (as of Wednesday, Senegal only has 13 confirmed cases). But Senegalese scientists are also on the forefront of testing. In partnership with the UK-based Mologic, scientists at Dakar's Pasteur Institute are helping to develop a handheld coronavirus test kit that could diagnose COVID-19 within 10 minutes. The kit, which is being authenticated by five other international research organizations and would be manufactured in Senegal, could greatly help manage the outbreak, CNN reports.

Other nations have also outpaced the U.S. in terms of testing. South Korea is testing as many as 15,000 people every day, while as of March 9 just 4,384 Americans had been tested.

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