Taiwan to distribute 3M free COVID-19 tests amid sixth wave

Taiwan to distribute 3M free COVID-19 tests amid sixth wave (TVBS News)
Taiwan to distribute 3M free COVID-19 tests amid sixth wave (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In response to the resurgence of COVID-19, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 衛生福利部疾病管制署) and the Taiwan Medical Association (中華民國醫師公會全國聯合會) announced on Wednesday (June 12) a collaborative effort to distribute 3 million free home testing kits across approximately 2,000 clinics nationwide starting in July.

This initiative comes as the country enters the sixth wave of the Omicron variant, with local COVID-19 cases increasing 25 percent from June 4 to June 10 compared to the previous week.

Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧), spokesperson for the CDC, emphasized the importance of maximizing the benefits of pandemic prevention materials by setting up distribution points at medical institutions.

The procurement plan ensures that at least 3 million COVID-19 home testing kits are distributed to medical institutions, which are then required to provide them to the public free of charge. The total budget for this project is NT$4.2 million, with the bidding process expected to conclude as early as next week.

The testing kits, which expire at the end of this year or January next year, are intended to help individuals promptly determine if symptoms are related to COVID-19, especially when seeking medical care or vaccination.

Chou Ching-ming (周慶明), chairman of the Taiwan Medical Association, noted that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has led to more severe symptoms among patients, such as fever and body aches.

This makes these testing kits crucial for early detection and diagnosis. The first batch of kits is expected to be distributed by the end of June, with a second batch to follow by the end of July.

As Taiwan grapples with the escalating COVID-19 situation, this initiative aims to bolster the country's defense against the virus, ensuring that medical institutions and the public are better equipped to handle the ongoing pandemic.

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