NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is actively producing thousands of coronavirus test kits, a first in the city's history, seen as a critical need to help prevent a pandemic "boomerang effect."
The city is on track to produce 50,000 3D-printed swabs per week, the mayor said, with the initial delivery of 30,000 expected by the end of this week.
"This has been put together very quickly, a lot of partners brought together, a lot of moving parts made, something that's never been done before," he said. "So we're really in uncharted territory creating test kits in New York City."
The mayor said New York City will be partnering locally with the 3D printing company Print Parts to develop the testing kits, the Vital Transport Medium to deliver to the hospitals as soon as possible and the Bronx-based Albert Einstein College of Medicine to produce Transport Medium, which undergoes validation this week.
de Blasio explained the process and what the testing kits would look like at his daily coronavirus press conference Sunday.
"You need three parts for a test kit for the PCR test, the diagnostic test for the coronavirus," he said. "You get the swabs to take the actual sample and you need the transport medium that keeps the sample in place for the way to the lab and the screw top tubes to protect the sample from any contamination, so what the lab gets will be accurate."
de Blasio said more pieces are going to be brought in to play so that widespread testing can help the city go on the offensive and fight back the disease to avoid the dreaded "boomerang" seen in other places such as Hong Kong and Singapore where tougher restrictions were needed after lifting their lockdowns.