Biden government will provide free Covid testing to US homes and invest $600 million in domestic manufacturers


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on September 20 that it would provide free COVID-19 testing to homes across the country, Reuters reported.

The health agency said that starting Sept. 25, families will again have the option to request up to four free tests through COVIDTests.gov. HHS further said that these tests are designed to identify currently prevalent COVID-19 variants and are for use through the end of 2023. Additionally, HHS revealed its plan to invest $600 million in 12 domestic COVID-19 testing manufacturers. ,

Also read: COVID-19: US CDC tracks new variants, which countries are on the radar? WHO says ‘variant under monitoring’

The HHS department said twelve manufacturers spanning seven states from California to Maryland were given funding to make 200 million over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. These tests will replenish the federal stockpile for government use and meet the demand for tests ordered online. The initiative aims to reduce supply chain disruptions that had previously caused shortages of domestic COVID tests imported from abroad during the previous surge in coronavirus cases.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made great progress in addressing vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain by reducing our reliance on foreign manufacturing, in partnership with domestic manufacturers,” said HHS Secretary This highlights President Joe Biden’s attempt to strike political balance. He is trying to make his mark as he seeks re-election next year as his administration steers the country through the worst of the pandemic. He is also continuously focusing on preparing to deal with the challenges posed by the virus.

Also read: New COVID-19 variant ‘Pirola’ raises concerns in many countries – should India be worried about BA.2.86?

Don O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, said the importance of at-home testing is a critical measure to slow the spread of new cases, even as some segments of the population grow weary of the pandemic and its fallout. , “We know, if past is prologue, this will lead to higher levels of transmission and spread, and cases will increase in the fall and winter,” O’Connell said.

“With the hope that this will be true again, or something similar, we want to make sure the American people have these tools,” he added, according to the AP report.

(with agency input)

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