Reported about 120 million rapid antigen tests from two companies will be supplied to low – and middle – income countries only for $5 each. This is meant to stop the spread of coronavirus in poor countries.
Countries that do not consider as poor that have signed up to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, also be able to order the tests in the hope that they will help to slow the effects of the pandemic.
One of the tests, from South Korean company SD BioSensor, has already received emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO), while the other, from US company Abbott, is expected to get it shortly.
Those two companies are making 20% of their products available to low-and middle-income countries, while the other 80% will go to the rest. It said that Germany has already ordered 20 million tests, with France and Switzerland the following suit.
The WHO has approved rapid antigen tests are faster, easier, and cheaper than the rapid virus tests the UK government is keen to get its hand on and could be used for screening in schools, universities, and workplaces.
The test will give results that look like a pregnancy test with two blue lines displayed for a positive result, will be read by health workers to allow for quick and easy screening.
It said that the high-quality test will also allow for mass screening of health workers, who are dying in disproportionate numbers while working on the frontlines in low-income countries.