State Working to Get Missing Parts for 500,000 COVID-19 Test Kits from South Korea

The state of Maryland is working to get missing components to complete the 500,000 COVID-19 testing kits secured from South Korea, Montgomery County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles said at a virtual county council meeting Thursday. 

“I do know that when they were brought in they did not include a number of other components for a successful testing capacity piece,” he said. 

On April 20, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he received 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from South Korea with the help of his wife, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan. 

There are multiple components needed to use a test kit, Gayles said. These include nasal swabs, receptacles to transport the specimen, reagents and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). The South Korean kits secured by Hogan did not include nasal swabs or reagents. The state is working to get those supplies and figure out how to distribute the tests to different jurisdictions, Gayles said. 

“My understanding is that the goal is to get them out well before the recovery phase, to get them out as soon as possible,” Gayles said. 

Montgomery County is not basing its testing strategy on its share of the South Korean kits alone. The county continues to explore other ways to get tests. 

“Our strategy isn’t reliant upon those test kits that were secured from South Korea,” Gayles said. 

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