A test kit for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed in Korea has been exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson Kang Min-seok on March 17 said the UAE, which has a “special strategic partnership” with Korea, urgently requested the same day through a diplomatic channel the purchase of the kits. The request came after a phone call between President Moon Jae-in and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Last weekend, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the kit’s manufacturers and expedited the export of 51,000 units to the Mideast nation.
“This is the first export of this test kit and part of international cooperation to combat COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.
“Seventeen nations have asked for the test kits through government channels such as Korean government offices abroad and foreign government offices in Korea.”
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He added, “Twenty-six countries have asked Korea to send protective goods including the test kits or dispatch health officials.”
“Aside from these urgent export requests, the test kit producers in Korea got direct calls about export from about 30 countries. The specific contracts will probably be made at the private level.”