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 Organization said on Monday.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said 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.”