Amid panic over Omicron’s rapid surge, US stores have placed limits on purchasing home Covid tests, World News

Due to the return of travel during the holiday season and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Americans rushed on Wednesday to find Covid home diagnostic kits, forcing several major distributors to restrict the number of kits available per customer. .

The number of tests per person was limited from Wednesday by Amazon and sellers on its platform.

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Drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens have set the maximum number of kits per customer at six and four, respectively.

Walgreens made the move after an “incredible demand for rapid home tests” stretched its inventory, according to a press release from the company.

As part of its plan, the company said it will “work diligently” with suppliers to get more samples on its shelves, although some stores may be affected by the temporary shortage.

“We ask our customers to exercise patience and understanding as together we continue to navigate the evolving pandemic environment,” Walgreen Chairman John Standley said in the statement.

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The shortage of rapid home tests has forced Americans to queue across the country – sometimes for hours – to take a test at a clinic or mobile testing site.

A center near the capital, Washington, said the number of tests it performs daily has quadrupled in the past two weeks.

Health officials report that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant is the main strain of coronavirus in the United States, contributing to 73.2% of new cases in the week ending December 18.

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Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would purchase 500 million rapid tests. However, these additional tests are not expected to be available until January.

(With contributions from agencies)

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