The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has received purchase orders for Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits from more than 700 institutions since it announced the sale on July 1.
Mok Rady, head of the ministry’s General Department of Administration, told The Post on July 5 that the ministry had sold 46,675 test kits to 210 of the 745 institutions as of July 4. There have been a total of 262,775 orders.
“The ministry prioritised institutions which have a lot of staff and are facing a high risk of Covid-19 transmission. We will address other requests according to available stocks and imports,” he said, noting that priorities will also be given to a small number of families in urgent need.
On July 1, the ministry began accepting orders for the test kits at $3.70 per unit – an offer exclusively for public and state institutions.
Increasing the availability of the tests would complement government efforts to rein in the novel coronavirus’ spread, it stressed.
The quantity of kits specified in state institutions’ orders must not exceed the number of staff, and priority will be given to private institutions with a larger number of employees or that are based in locations at higher risk of exposure to the virus, it said.
Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, the tests are for the exclusive use of buyers – for staff members – and are not authorised for resale.
Highlighting that the public is, at this time, not allowed to place orders for individual use, the ministry urged people with suspected Covid-19 symptoms to be tested at locations designated by the Ministry of Health.
Without providing concrete dates or quantities, the telecoms ministry noted that the tests would be imported from South Korea.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 1 also called on all private companies to make staff take nasal swabs immediately when they suspect Covid-19 infection.
“If any company or institution has a problem, they do not need to call medical doctors because it will take a long time. It could already be widespread at that location,” he said.
Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on July 5 that the test kit is used to identify an infected person quickly so the person can be treated in a timely manner and prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others.