WASHINGTON, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The United States is grateful to South Korea for supplying COVID-19 testing kits, a senior U.S. government official said Monday ahead of the planned arrival of a shipment of Korean-made kits.
Two South Korean companies were set to load their test kits on a U.S. cargo flight Tuesday (Seoul time) after getting interim approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We are grateful to our Republic of Korea partners for assisting the United States in procuring COVID-19 tests, and for its support to the people of the United States,” the official told Yonhap News Agency.
The shipment follows a phone call between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump last month, during which Trump requested South Korea’s assistance with medical equipment.
The number of test kits was not disclosed.
The two companies, along with another South Korean firm, signed contracts with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to export their test kits.
The third company is expected to deliver the kits through a U.S.-based agency.
Trump has repeatedly compared testing numbers in the U.S. with those of South Korea, making the false claim that his country tested more people in eight days than South Korea did in eight weeks.
South Korea’s vigorous testing regime has been credited with helping the country contain the coronavirus outbreak on its soil.
The U.S. currently has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world.