The United States has donated 500,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) as part of its commitment to support Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a statement on Thursday (July 22).
These tests, worth LKR 300 million (USD 1.5 million), were delivered to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health through the U.S. Government’s development arm, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
These RDTs come in addition to over 1.5 million Moderna vaccines the American people donated to Sri Lanka on Friday, July 16, the embassy stated further in its statement.
“By enabling rapid detection of the virus, these tests donated by the American people will save lives and protect public health in Sri Lanka,” USAID Mission Director to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Reed Aeschliman commented. “This donation builds on previous U.S. support to the Sri Lankan government’s pandemic response and reflects our strong, long-standing partnership.”
These antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests directly detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. The tests are simple to use and enable fast, decentralized access to direct testing. They do not require additional equipment or specialized laboratory access, which helps achieve high testing coverage.
The United States has worked closely with Sri Lanka since the outset of the pandemic to protect public health, providing over USD 8 million in emergency supplies and critical services, plus an in-kind donation of 200 ventilators and over 1.5 million Moderna vaccines, the embassy added.
This assistance has reached millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces of Sri Lanka to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts, and ultimately save lives, the statement read further.
USAID’s COVID-19 support builds on decades of public health investments and is one component of the longstanding partnership between the American and Sri Lankan people. USAID’s program in Sri Lanka, totaling more than LKR 350 billion (USD 2 billion) since 1961, promotes a healthy, educated, and employed population.