Coronavirus rapid test
Coronavirus rapid test iStock

Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche has announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization for the company’s at-home COVID-19 test, The Hill reports.

The test, which uses a nasal swab sample, can produce "accurate, reliable and quick results in as few as 20 minutes," the company said in a statement released on Friday. The test will be available starting in January.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shed light on the critically important role that rapid self-testing plays in empowering individuals to protect their personal health and the health of their families and communities,” Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker said in a statement.

The Biden administration this week announced plans to purchase 500 million COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them for free in January.

This were announced as part of President Joe Biden’s plan to fight the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week that Omicron is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the US, accounting for 73% of new infections last week.

On Sunday, top US pandemic advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of a “bleak winter” ahead as Omicron spurs a new wave of infections globally.

"One thing that's very clear... is (Omicron's) extraordinary capability of spreading," Fauci told NBC News. "It is just... raging through to the world."

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