Singapore

Enough ART kits in stock to meet surge in demand, say suppliers

Distributors here are confident of meeting the rising demand for Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) kits, with months' worth of stock in warehouses and shipments coming in every week to meet the surge in orders.

This follows the rush for ART kits at many pharmacy retailers, where shelves remain empty after customers snapped up kits earlier this week.

Ms Jes Lim, managing director of SPD Scientific which supplies SD Biosensor kits, said its warehouses can hold some 20 million kits at a time.She said orders have increased threefold and that it receives a few million kits each week.

"There is a healthy and sufficient supply of ART kits to cater for the increase in demand," said Ms Lim. "The current order size can be adjusted at any time, up to millions if necessary."

Since May, the company has had an agreement with the South Korean manufacturers for larger shipments that can be delivered at a week's notice.

Its product is one of six brands of self-test ART kits authorised by the Health Sciences Authority.

It provides kits to retailers, construction and food and beverage (F&B) firms, and to households as part of the Government's initiative to give test kits to all homes.

A spokesman for Becton Dickinson (BD), which supplies BD Veritor kits, said it is able to meet demand.

It holds a few months' worth of kits stored in a temperature-controlled facility.

He said: "We can mobilise shipments very quickly as our supply chain is agile, and we have no concerns about the current supply-and-demand situation with our partners."

Mr Wayne Yap, Unison Collaborative's director, said the pharmaceutical company, which distributes Abbott Panbio kits, is receiving weekly shipments to meet orders from its customers, such as retailers and corporate buyers in construction, F&B and logistics.

Singapore's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said on Monday: "We actually have a lot of test kits, but I think it's just an issue of supply, distribution and allocation." - THE STRAITS TIMES

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