Financial TimesFinancial Times

Covid rapid test makers race to meet overwhelming global demand

By Hannah Kuchler, Oliver Barnes, Song Jung-a, Jamie Smyth

22 Jan 2022 · 2 min read

The Covid rapid testing industry is racing to help thwart the spread of the Omicron variant, with manufacturers expanding production, hiring staff and splashing out on whole planes to send out millions of kits at a time.

Yet all over the world, anxious customers have been queueing for the tests that will enable them to see loved ones, attend school or go to work. French parents have been forced to wait for hours at pharmacies, UK websites to order tests crashed while Brazilians have been warned there is a “real risk” of a shortage of tests.

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