Japan to OK Online Sales of COVID-19 Test Kits

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japan is set to lift a ban on online sales of novel coronavirus antigen test kits to reduce the burden on medical institutions flooded with patients amid the COVID-19 seventh wave.

A team of experts at the health ministry approved a revision to related guidelines at a meeting Wednesday. After further discussions at a separate group, the ban on online sales of medical-use COVID-19 test kits will be lifted.

Such test kits, which have received government approval, can be currently sold at places other than medical institutions only when pharmacists give face-to-face explanations about the kits.

Meanwhile, similar kits without government approval are widely available online. This is a problem because the accuracy of the kits has not been confirmed by the government.

According to the ministry, manufacturers will need to gain additional regulatory approval before they sell their government-authorized test kits online. The ministry plans to give such approval swiftly once applications are submitted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press