WORLD South Korea to ship first COVID-19 tests to US


South Korea to ship first COVID-19 tests to US

Global Times

02:37, April 14, 2020


South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) attends a special meeting in Daegu, South Korea, February 25, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

South Korean firms will make their first shipment of coronavirus tests to the US this week after a request by US President Donald Trump, Yonhap news agency reported Monday.

South Korea was once the hardest-hit country outside China, but appears to have brought its outbreak under control with a huge "trace, test and treat" strategy.

It has tested more than half a million people in a process free to anyone referred by doctors or those who have links to a confirmed case.

The Trump administration has been accused of being slow to respond to the outbreak.

After a phone conversation with him in March, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Trump had asked for test kits.

A Maryland-bound US cargo flight will depart from Incheon International Airport on Tuesday, carrying test kits supplied by two companies, Yonhap reported citing a foreign ministry official in Seoul.

The firms are among three South Korean companies that won interim approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, the report added, without specifying the quantities involved or the manufacturers.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that a shipment of tests would be sent on Tuesday but declined to go into any details.

South Korean test kit producer SD Biosensor told AFP in March that it was making 350,000 tests a day and would increase output to a million a day from April, with an eye on exports.

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