White House promises 27M coronavirus test kits by end of March

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There will be 27 million coronavirus test kits available to patients by the end of the month, the White House said Saturday.

More than 10 million test kits were distributed to labs nationwide in the first two weeks of March, US Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir said at a news conference.

“We promised 1 to 4 million, there’s 10 million tests that are in the market now,” Giroir said — with 17 million more coming by the end of the month.

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A medical staffer works with test systems for the diagnosis of coronavirus, at the Krasnodar Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology microbiology lab in Krasnodar, Russia. (Associated Press)

A medical staffer works with test systems for the diagnosis of coronavirus, at the Krasnodar Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology microbiology lab in Krasnodar, Russia. (Associated Press)

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“But not every lab can run every test, and not every test is self-contained,” Giroir said. “So the important question is not how many tests are on the market, but to make sure that every segment of the market has the kind of tests that they can use.”

Testing for the novel coronavirus has been limited for weeks, with New York and other states reserving them for those with the highest risk or most severe symptoms.