About 120 million rapid corona tests will be distributed to poorer countries over the next six months.
The tests that make it clear in fifteen to half an hour whether someone is infected with the coronavirus will cost no more than $ 5.
Topman Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced this on Monday at a press conference in Geneva.
The first rapid diagnostic test was approved last week. Ghebreyesus expects more to follow soon. With current tests, it sometimes takes days before there is a result.
Many low- or middle-income countries have little testing capacity or adequately trained laboratory personnel. The easy-to-use rapid tests could slow the pandemic and potentially save lives.
They are especially important in areas where the virus is widely transmitted, the WHO chief said. “The sooner Covid-19 can be diagnosed, and the faster action can be taken to treat and isolate those with the virus and track their contacts.”
The foundation of Bill and Melinda Gates, among others, contributes to the financing. Richer countries can also order rapid tests.