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Poorer countries to get 120 million, $5 coronavirus tests, WHO says

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 will be made available to low and middle-income countries at a maximum of $5 per unit.

According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the manufacturers Abbott ABT.N 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 $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.”

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