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S. Korean-made coronavirus test kits to be shipped to the U.S. soon: official

All News 18:11 March 31, 2020

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korean-made coronavirus test kits will soon be shipped to the United States, a foreign ministry official said Tuesday.

The ministry has announced that three local test kit makers have won interim approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and their products can be exported to the U.S., now a country hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

"It appears that kits will be transported to the U.S. by plane soon," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Kits from the three firms will be shipped first, with more expected to follow, he said.

"As you know about the situation in the U.S., they urgently need diagnostic tests and as far as we know, we're trying to transport them as early as possible," the official said.

A total of 12 Korean test kit makers have applied for pre-emergency use authorization and more companies are expected to gain the approval, given the high demand for the devices amid the urgency of the outbreak situation in the U.S., officials earlier said.

The announcement on the pre-FDA approval of Korean test kits came days after President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump and called for FDA approval of South Korean test kits. Trump asked for Korea to provide medical devices to help contain the spread of the novel virus.

A C-17 NATO aircraft on a mission to deliver relief items, including protective gear, to Romania, prepares to take off from Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on March 27, 2020. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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