It will now cost you less and take you a shorter time to get your Covid-19 results, courtesy of a new deal launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It will only take between 15 to 30 minutes to get back your Covid-19 test results. You will only part with Sh500 which is a fair price as compared to the Sh1000 Kenyans have been paying in public health facilities. The fee has been higher in private health facilities because it ranges from Sh5,000 to Sh10,000.

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The subsidized cost and quick results have been enabled by the launch of Sh120 million low-cost rapid testing kits. The deal was fostered by the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Programme which was signed between manufacturers and financiers.

This arrangement will last for six months as per the agreements between Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and producers Abbott and SD Biosensor. Kenya will be among the 20 beneficiaries who will get the kits from UNITAID and the Africa CDC before the end of the week.

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Kenya has slowed down the Covid-19 testing due to the lack of reagents. By September 29, 545,019 people out of more than 50 million Kenyans had been tested for Covid-19. The slow testing has increased the spread of the virus. But with the new WHO deal, the Covid-19 tests are expected to increase.

“The tests are a critical tool for governments as they look to reopen economies and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods,” the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.