Testing is the first line of defense in the fight against COVID-19. Without testing, countries cannot track or contain the spread of the virus, address urgent clinical needs, test the efficacy of vaccines, or detect the emergence of new variants. To save lives and fight this pandemic, there is an urgent need to scale up testing and ensure immediate equitable access to diagnostic tools across the world.
Together with FIND, the Global Fund co-leads the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator’s (ACT-Accelerator) Diagnostics Pillar to support low- and middle-income countries to procure diagnostic tests, strengthen laboratory infrastructure and capacities, provide training and technical assistance, and develop new testing tools for resource-poor settings.
The emergence and circulation of new variants of COVID-19 highlight the urgent need to stop the spread of the pandemic everywhere. The Global Fund is encouraging countries to apply for fast-track funding through its COVID-19 Response Mechanism for the response to the pandemic. The funding includes support to procure antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDTs) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) molecular tests, personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks, and treatments including corticosteroids and medical oxygen.
- One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, testing is as vital as ever
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