Some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus will be made available to low-and middle-income countries at a maximum of €4.30 per unit, the World Health Organization said today.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor had agreed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "make 120 million of these new, highly portable and easy-to-use rapid Covid-19 diagnostic tests available over a period of six months".

He told a news conference in Geneva the tests were currently priced at a maximum of $5 each but were expected to become cheaper.

"This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have laboratory facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out tests," Mr Tedros said.

"This is a vital addition to the testing capacity and especially important in areas of high transmission."