S.Korean self-test COVID kits ready for local use
Locally produced kits are expected to arrive in markets by this weekend or early next week, local media said
Coronavirus self-test kits produced by a South Korean manufacturer are ready to arrive in the country's markets by this weekend, local media reported on Wednesday.
According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korean citizens would be able to purchase the kits, developed by biotech firms SD Biosensor and Humasis, at local pharmacies or via online channels as early as this weekend or early next week.
The product price has not yet been finalized but local health officials expect that it would be around $8.99.
"We plan to announce the price of our self-test kits on Wednesday or Thursday," the agency quoted an SD Biosensor executive as saying.
"They may be available at local pharmacies early next week."
Locally developed self-test kits should be used as a supplementary tool as their accuracy is low compared to the preemptive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests commonly used. However, users collect samples from their noses on their own, and the results come out within 15-20 minutes, the report said.
Currently, self-kits are used in several European countries where the governments have granted an emergency use approval for them.
South Korea is struggling to enhance its testing capacity as the COVID-19 cases have been rising for the last several days.
On Wednesday, the country reported 775 new cases, raising the caseload to 120,673, according to the Health Ministry.
With one more death, total fatalities from the virus rose to 1,821.
Writing by Islamuddin Sajid