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Coronavirus

South Korea Expands the Use of Rapid Tests

December 11, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is expanding the use of rapid tests and deploying hundreds of police officers and soldiers to help with contact tracing.

Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho says rapid antigen tests at emergency rooms, intensive-care units and remote-area hospitals will be covered by the national health insurance starting Monday, which would cost recipients about 8,000 won ($7) for each test.

Antigen tests and another form of rapid testing based on saliva samples will also be available at designated coronavirus testing sites in the Seoul metropolitan area, where officials are temporarily providing free tests to anyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms or clear reasons to suspect infection.

Yoon said the country will also deploy more than 800 police officers, soldiers and civil servants to support contact tracing efforts in the capital area.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Friday reported another 689 new coronavirus cases.

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