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S. Korea to maintain virus test kit stockpile amid rising exports

All News 16:13 April 29, 2020

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will maintain roughly a week's supply of novel coronavirus test kits in the country to counter any spike in local infections, amid a steady rise in exports, the country's public health ministry said Wednesday.

The number of domestic COVID-19 cases has dropped significantly in the past few weeks, while exports of the kits, which have been cited for helping South Korea stem the spread of the epidemic, have increased.

The country reported nine more cases of the new coronavirus earlier in the day, bringing the nation's total to 10,761, with the virus death toll at 246.

The latest tally marked the 11th day in a row that the number of new infections stayed at 15 or below after hitting a record daily high of 909 on Feb. 29.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said that while local infections have been falling, the country needs to prepare for potential flareups in new cases.

At present, Seegene, Kogene Biotech, SD Biosensor, Solgent and BioSewoom have been granted emergency use authorization to make the diagnostic tools, with all being the real-time polymerase chain reaction types.

Besides these companies, others have received permission to make kits for foreign customers.

South Korea is currently providing various countries with COVID-19 test kits and other disinfection and quarantine materials as part of its humanitarian assistance efforts. It has set up a special task force to facilitate timely delivery for overseas shipments.

S. Korea to maintain virus test kit stockpile amid rising exports - 1


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