News Karnataka
Thursday, November 30 2023
Health & Lifestyle

US to restart free at-home Covid test kits from Sep 25

US to restart free at-home Covid test kits from Sep 25
Photo Credit : IANS

New York: Amid rising new cases and a possible winter surge of Covid-19, the US is looking to restart its free at-home Covid-19 test kit programme from September 25, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said.

The HHS on Wednesday also announced an investment of $600 million across 12 domestic Covid test manufacturers.

The investments will strengthen the nation’s capacity to manufacture tests, and secure approximately 200 million new over-the-counter Covid tests for future federal government use, the HHS said.

As earlier, the test kits can be ordered via the website for the programme — — and households will receive four tests.

The tests will detect the currently circulating Covid-19 variants, are intended for use through the end of 2023, and will include clear instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.

“The Biden-Harris Administration, in partnership with domestic manufacturers, has made great strides in addressing vulnerabilities in the US supply chain by reducing our reliance on overseas manufacturing,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“These critical investments will strengthen our nation’s production levels of domestic at-home Covid-19 rapid tests and help mitigate the spread of the virus,” Becerra added.

Americans first received free at-home coronavirus tests through the Postal Service early last year after the Omicron variant caused cases to soar.

More than 600 million tests were distributed before officials halted the programme late that summer, citing a lack of funding, the New York Times reported.

The Biden administration then resumed offering tests late last year before halting the programme again in May, following the end of the public health emergency for Covid.

Meanwhile, Covid hospitalisations have been on the rise in the US, though they remain low compared with previous phases of the pandemic.

The US has also rolled out new vaccines to target the newly circulating variants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last week that all Americans six months and older receive at least one dose of the reformulated Covid vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

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