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Hi-Life to start selling saliva rapid tests Friday

Gmate COVID-19 rapid test kits to hit shelves at over 1,500 Hi-Life stores nationwide

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Woman holds Gmat COVID-19 saliva rapid test kit in front of Hi-Life store. (Hi-Life photo)

Woman holds Gmat COVID-19 saliva rapid test kit in front of Hi-Life store. (Hi-Life photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese convenience store chain Hi-Life will begin selling COVID-19 saliva rapid tests at over a thousand branches across Taiwan on Friday (May 20).

The country is currently experiencing a surge of COVID cases and had reported a total of 981,141 infections as of Wednesday (May 18). In response to the rising demand for rapid test kits, particularly the less invasive saliva-based version, Hi-Life announced Thursday (May 19) that it will start selling saliva rapid tests the following day at nearly 1,500 stores with a pharmaceutical sales license.

According to Hi-Life, the product being made available is the Gmate COVID-19 AG Saliva test kit, which is priced at NT$175 (US$5.88). Only 30,000 kits are currently being allotted to Taiwan, and each customer will be limited to five kits.

Compared to the nasal or nasopharyngeal rapid antigen tests, saliva tests are considered simpler and more convenient.