TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Monday (April 18) that Taiwan will ramp up its production of antigen rapid test kits to 12.8 million units in May following a shortage of such kits in recent days.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) said that when the number of COVID-19 rapid test kits is sufficient, the public will be able to purchase them at an affordable price by using their National Health Insurance cards, CNA reported. Chen said he hopes that the system will be ready by May.
According to the MOHW’s report on the progress of forming a “national team” to produce rapid test kits, the ministry has approved five companies to produce them, and currently their combined monthly production capacity is about 4.9 million units. Total capacity will be ramped up to 12.8 million units in May and 15.8 million monthly in the future, CNA cited the report as saying.
The MOHW report also says that the ministry will enlist the five companies from April 14 to July 31 to help prepare the test kits.
The test kits will also be used by those undergoing quarantine, those getting tested at stations set up by the government at hot spots, and for epidemic prevention in critical infrastructure sectors, per CNA.