South Korea sent 600,000 COVID-19 tests to the United States on Tuesday. The shipment has been made 21 days after U.S. President Donald Trump requested testing kits on his phone call to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The testing kits were manufactured by two of the three South Korean companies that secured preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and signed an export contract, following the call between the two leaders last month. The test kits were reportedly shipped from Incheon International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky by a U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cargo plane. “FEMA awarded contracts to the South Korean manufacturers last week to provide approximately 750,000 test kits” reported CNN on Monday, adding that the first shipment of 150,000 test kits has been delivered to the United States. This signals strengthened bilateral cooperation amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said that a phone call was organized between Minister Park Neung-hu and his U.S. counterpart Alex Azar at the request of Azar where Park shared South Korea’s experience with virus testing, contact tracing and patients who tested positive for a second time. The U.S. secretary of health thanked Park for sharing South Korea’s experience and data and expressed his wish to continue with detailed discussions and strong cooperation based on mutual trust and partnership.
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