WHO promises 120mn US$5 virus tests for poor nations - RTHK
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WHO promises 120mn US$5 virus tests for poor nations

2020-09-29 HKT 01:20
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  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the deal will allow the expansion of testing in hard-to-reach areas. File photo: Reuters
    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the deal will allow the expansion of testing in hard-to-reach areas. File photo: Reuters
Some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus will be made available to low- and middle-income countries at a maximum of $5 per unit, the World Health Organisation said on Monday.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor had agreed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "make 120 million of these new, highly portable and easy-to-use rapid Covid-19 diagnostic tests available over a period of six months".

He told a news conference in Geneva the tests were currently priced at a maximum of US$5 each but were expected to become cheaper.

"This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have laboratory facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out tests," Tedros said.

"This is a vital addition to the testing capacity and especially important in areas of high transmission." (Reuters)