South Korea moves to ship 600,000 coronavirus testing kits to the U.S. Tuesday in the first such delivery following a request from U.S. President Trump.
Trump made the request for testing kits in a phone call on March 25 with President Moon Jae-in, as the U.S. was grappling with fast-rising outbreaks in many states.
A U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cargo airplane carrying the equipment is scheduled to leave at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, the official stated on condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.
The kits have been made by two of the three companies that secured preliminary arrival late in March from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The deliveries will be handed over to and paid for by the U.S. government, while the additional 150,000 kits will be exported within the near future to be sold through an undisclosed local retailer, the official stated.
South Korean corporations have previously shipped test kits to U.S. cities along with Los Angeles; however, this would mark the first bulk order from the U.S. federal government.
Once struggling with the first massive outbreak outside China, South Korea has largely managed to bring its coronavirus cases under control without significant disruptions because of a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing.