America turns to South Korea for more tests


Famous for their aggressive coronavirus testing regime, South Koreans will supply the US with 750,000 new COVID-19 tests. The first shipment has already landed and is ready for use.


With a global number of confirmed infections topping 2 million and the US number rapidly closing to 600,000, testing is still in high demand. While the US is able to supply manufactured tests to some states, the country's demand is simply too large to rely on domestic stock. 

That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded three contracts to South Korean companies manufacturing tests proven to be reliable in Asia. The first shipment of 150,000 tests from manufacturer SolGent has already landed in the US over the weekend. Two more, from SD Biosensor and Osang Healthcare should deliver 600,000 more tests as soon as April 15, which means the entire batch of 750,000 will be available for use almost instantly.

The idfea is to move all ordered tests to a cold storage in Louisville, Kentucky. They would be distributed from there to all states in need of boosting their testing capacities, subject to fast-track approval by the FDA. 

The contracts are apparently worth just over $10 million in total, which puts individual test price at under $15.