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China further lowers cost of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests

Residents take nucleic acid tests at a residential area in Jinnan District, north China's Tianjin, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Wang Fangyuan/Xinhua)

BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China has asked local authorities to further lower the price of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests to no more than 16 yuan (about 2.4 U.S. dollars) per person for a single test.

The price for batch testing, which combines samples from up to 10 people in a single test, should be no more than five yuan per person, said a circular made public by the National Healthcare Security Administration on Wednesday.

The administration requires all provincial-level regions to complete the price adjustment by June 10.

The move is part of the government's efforts to reduce the cost of nucleic acid testing, an important means to facilitate regular epidemic response.

The nucleic acid test price in China has dropped over the past years from more than 120 yuan per person for a single test to no more than 60 yuan in September last year, 40 yuan in December, and 28 yuan in April this year.

The administration also encouraged measures, including centralized procurement of detection reagents, to secure a continuous and reasonable decline in the testing price. ■