US President Joe Biden is directing the US authorities to obtain a further 500 million Covid-19 checks to assist meet surging demand throughout the nation amid the unfold of the Omicron variant, a White Home official instructed Reuters on Thursday.
The order comes on high of one other 500 million checks that the White Home pledged could be accessible to People in January.
“In addition to the 500 million tests that we are in the process of acquiring, today he is directing his team to procure 500 million more tests – to meet future demand,” the official stated, talking on situation of anonymity.
Biden has come below criticism for not focusing extra on testing earlier as a part of his technique for preventing the pandemic. A nationwide scarcity of checks has plagued the response in latest weeks through the rampant unfold of the extremely contagious Omicron variant.
Biden plans to announce his order for the extra procurement afterward Thursday.
The official stated the checks could be free for American shoppers and that the White Home would share extra particulars about their distribution at a later date. Particulars in regards to the web site that may have data on the primary tranche of 500 million checks might be accessible on Friday, the official stated.
When the unique 500 million checks had been introduced, specialists stated the White Home’s actions weren’t daring or quick sufficient to cope with Omicron’s unfold.
Assessments have been tough for a lot of People to seek out, pushed partly by fast take a look at provide shortages in addition to staffing shortages on the pressing care facilities, pop-up websites and pharmacies that administer the checks. Extra not too long ago, staffing on the laboratories that course of the extra complicated PCR checks has additionally change into an element, irritating many searching for to know rapidly whether or not they’re contaminated with COVID-19.
Whereas the official rely of Omicron circumstances in america continues to rise, there are indicators that in some areas that had been hit early on, such because the Northeast, the tempo of latest infections has begun to sluggish.