Global initiative will supply 120m rapid antigen tests to low- and middle-income countries.
COVID-19 novel coronavirus testing kits are packaged on a production line at the SD Biosensor bio-diagnostic company near Cheongju, South Korea. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images
Sarah Boseley, Health editor
Tests for Covid-19 that show on-the-spot results in 15 to 30 minutes are about to be rolled out across the world, potentially saving many thousands of lives and slowing the pandemic in both poor and rich countries.
In a triumph for a global initiative to get vital drugs and vaccines to fight the virus, 120m rapid antigen tests from two companies will be supplied to low- and middle-income countries for $5 (£3.90) each or even less.
The tests, which look like a pregnancy test, with two blue lines displayed for positive, are read by a health worker. One test has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the other is expected to get it shortly. Read more >>