ISLAMABAD, AUG 9 /DNA/ – The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), donated one million COVID-19 antigen rapid diagnostic tests today to help Pakistan to diagnose the coronavirus and respond to urgent health needs.

These new rapid diagnostic tests detect infection in minutes and greatly enhance real-time monitoring, enabling health officials to quickly identify hotspots of infection.  Having access to quick and accurate testing will allow Pakistan’s National Command Operation Center and the Federal Health Ministry further mitigate the spread of COVID-19, especially in remote locations and at border crossings.

“These rapid test its will help Pakistan to more quickly detect and diagnose the coronavirus, enabling the government to adjust its strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen.  “This donation delivers on President Biden’s promise to stand with the people of Pakistan in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The shipment was formally received at the ceremony by Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.  In his remarks, Dr. Sultan thanked USAID for their donation and partnership.  He also commented that this effort is a true reflection of the mutual friendship between the United States and Pakistan.

The United States has delivered more than $50 million in COVID-19 assistance through our partnership with the Government of Pakistan, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients, personal protective equipment, and pulse oximeters.  Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has worked together with Pakistan to improve infection prevention and control, enhance patient care, expand laboratory testing, disease monitoring, and case tracking in all districts, and support frontline healthcare workers.  In July, the U.S. government provided 5.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to the Pakistani people from the United States’ own vaccine supply.

Separately, the United States has pledged $4 billion to support COVAX, making the United States the single largest contributor to global COVID-19 vaccine access.  Pakistan has received 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine since May as part of the COVAX effort.=DNA