Geneva: A set of agreements to make available, for low and middle-income countries, affordable, high-quality COVID-19 antigen rapid tests were on Monday announced by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. Organizations involved in the milestone agreement include the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Global Fund, Unitaid, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
As part of this comprehensive, end-to-end effort, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has executed separate volume guarantee agreements with rapid diagnostic test (RDT) producers Abbott and SD Biosensor.
These two arrangements will make available to LMICs 120 million antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDTs) – priced at a maximum of US$5 per unit – over a period of six months.
These tests provide results in 15–30 minutes, rather than hours or days,