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Taiwan residents can now import rapid COVID tests

Accuracy, safety of such products not guaranteed: CECC

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People queue up for rationed rapid COVID test kits in Taipei. 

People queue up for rationed rapid COVID test kits in Taipei.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Imports of COVID-19 test kits for individual use have been greenlit, Taiwan's health authorities announced at a COVID briefing on Wednesday (May 11).

Previously, people would have to apply to import test kits and clear inspections in accordance with medical equipment management regulations. With the relaxation of the rules, individuals can import a maximum of 100 units without the need to secure a permit in advance.

The regulation is valid until June 30.

The move is aimed to address the acute shortage of domestic test kits amid a spike in cases. Kits have been selling out rapidly since they began being rationed.

Health authorities have said that starting Thursday (May 12), those who test positive for COVID using government-approved self-test kits will be considered confirmed cases after a doctor gives a diagnosis remotely.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) cautioned that rapid tests can only be ordered by individuals for personal use, regardless of the EUA status of the products, per CNA. The agency said it does not vouch for the safety and accuracy of kits from abroad, stressing that test results from brands not approved by the government will not be accepted.