China has requested its medical institutions to cut the turnaround time for COVID-19 nucleic acid test results to a maximum of 24 hours, according to an official circular released on July 2.
Efforts should be made to ensure that fever clinic patients get their test results within six hours, said the circular, adding that four hours are preferred.
Other outpatients, inpatients, and their caretakers are expected to receive test results within 12 hours, while those who test of their own volition should expect to have their results back within 24 hours, according to the circular, which was released by the State Council through its Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism committee.
Medical institutions are also asked to take measures to promote mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results, and standardize their reporting formats, according to the circular.
Test reports shall be made available via self-help printing, online checking, and express delivery, it added.
The circular also urged local authorities to take stock of their nucleic acid testing resources, beef up testing capacities, and make contingency plans to guard against a re-emergence of outbreaks.